Health insurance

California Covered Deadline Approaches As Omicron Push Highlights Health Insurance Benefits – Lake County Record-Bee

SACRAMENTO – With the omicron COVID-19 variant spreading rapidly across state, Covered California urges uninsured and eligible people to act now so they can receive comprehensive health care coverage for all by 2022. Coverage is essential for both obtaining the necessary prevention. care and cover unforeseen care costs. The first registration deadline is fast approaching and Californians must register before the end of the year for their health coverage to take effect on January 1.

“Covered California urges everyone in need of coverage to check their options and register before the end of the month, so they can start the New Year with protection and peace of mind,” said Peter V . Lee, executive director of Covered California. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to underscore the fact that life can indeed change in an instant. With the omicron variant booming statewide, every Californian should be sure to have coverage and take the necessary steps to stay healthy and safe. “

Californians who register before December 31 and pay their first bill will have their coverage effective January 1.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in California average $ 127,000 for complex care

A national nonprofit group recently analyzed claims data across the country and looked at COVID-19 cases in which patients were admitted to hospital and required ventilation or admission to the unit. intensive care unit (ICU), which is much more likely to occur among the unvaccinated. . FAIR Health, which maintains the nation’s largest database of privately billed health insurance claims, found the average cost of a COVID-19 hospitalization in complex care to be $ 127,281 in California.

In cases where a patient needed to be hospitalized, but did not require ventilation or ICU admission, the average cost in California was $ 42,674, which is virtually identical to the average costs for enrollees in California. covered who are admitted to hospitals for all reasons.

Finally, for patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and received only outpatient care – which is much more likely for people who were vaccinated and received their booster – the average cost in California was $ 1,334. For those who have insurance, only a small fraction is paid out of pocket by the consumer.

“No one wants to end up in an emergency room or hospital for COVID-19 or for any other reason, but if you do, a quality health insurance plan through Covered California can save you tens of thousands. dollars, ”Lee said. “Plus, having health insurance means you’re more likely to get preventative care and regular treatment for chronic illnesses, so you can avoid hospital in the first place.”

Significant savings for over 1 million uninsured Californians

Buying quality coverage is more affordable – for more people – than ever before thanks to increased grants under the US federal bailout that went into effect earlier this year.

An estimated 1.1 million Californians are uninsured and eligible for financial assistance. The vast majority of uninsured people, over 940,000 people, can get free coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal.

Californians who do not qualify for a $ 0 bonus will likely see significant savings from the increased financial assistance available through the US bailout. Right now, more than half of covered California enrollees pay less than $ 10 per month, and 75 percent pay less than $ 100 for their branded health plan.

“A lot of people who aren’t currently insured don’t know they’re eligible for financial assistance, or they haven’t checked out recently to see how affordable quality coverage can be,” Lee said. “Don’t wait until the last minute, or miss the December 31 deadline, without checking your options.”

In addition, the American Rescue Plan provides financial assistance to many middle-income families. These middle-income families, who earn more than $ 106,000 a year and who were previously ineligible for federal assistance, are now saving an average of almost $ 800 a month on their health insurance premiums.

Financial assistance for middle-income consumers may also benefit those who are currently insured directly by a health insurance company. It is estimated that 260,000 Californians have direct coverage and can switch to Covered California, and potentially get the same health plan, and save hundreds of dollars per month.

“Visit, where you can see the health plans available in your area and how much you can save on the coverage you are already paying for,” Lee said.

Consumers can easily check their eligibility and options on

Those interested in applying for coverage can explore their options – and find out if they’re eligible for financial assistance – in minutes using the Buy & Compare tool at All they have to do is enter their zip code, household income and the ages of those needing coverage to find out what plans are available in their area.

In addition to enrolling consumers through its website, Covered California also partners with certified and licensed recruiters who provide free, confidential statewide assistance. Covered California works with more than 11,000 licensed insurance agents, who have established more than 500 storefronts in communities across California.

These storefronts feature Covered California signs and logos and provide consumers with a local point of contact to answer questions and help them enroll in a health plan that best meets their needs, whether through Covered California or Medi-Cal, depending on their eligibility. Consumers can visit and search for the agent closest to them.

Consumers can also call Covered California at (800) 300-1506 and get information or register by phone.

Adhering to a health plan will also help Californians avoid being subject to the state’s individual mandate. Consumers who can afford health care coverage but choose to do without it could pay a penalty when they file state taxes in 2023. The penalty is administered by the California Franchise Tax Board and could be as high as $ 2,400 for a family of four.

Open registrations take place until January 31

The California open enrollment period covered is until January 31, 2022, unlike the federal deadline, which is January 15 for states that use Consumers who register after December 31 will have their coverage begin on February 1.

Covered California’s online enrollment portal and Certified Recruiters will also help people find out if they are eligible for Medi-Cal. Enrollment in Medi-Cal is available year round and coverage will begin the day after a person enrolls. Additionally, people can apply for Medi-Cal online or by picking up an application at one of the many county resource centers throughout the region.

About California Covered

Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from the best insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where eligible people can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that best suits their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may be eligible for the Medi-Cal program at low or no cost.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job it is to make the health insurance market work for California consumers. It is overseen by a five-member council appointed by the Governor and the Legislative Assembly. For more information on Covered California, please visit