Jun. 13--As Covered California closes in on the last two weeks of its special enrollment period Friday, agency leaders announced that more than 155,000 people have signed up for health insurance.
Anticipating that the need for insurance coverage would increase as the pandemic spread across the state, Covered California opened a special enrollment period Mar. 20. It will end June 30.
So far, the pace of sign-ups is about twice what Covered California officials logged in the comparable period last year, agency leaders said.
"Whether you have lost your job-based health insurance, or you were uninsured when this crisis began, there is a path to coverage for you through Covered California or Medi-Cal," stated Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, in a news release issued Friday.
Those who lost their jobs would have been eligible to get insurance regardless of the special enrollment because a change in employment is one of the qualifying life events that allows Californians to enroll, but the special enrollment offers a reprieve to individuals who had opted not to buy insurance during open enrollment.
As of Thursday, California reported nearly 142,000 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those cases, nearly 5,000 have died, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.
Californian residents can learn more about coverage possibilities by calling 800-300-1506 or going to coveredca.com. In addition to federal subsidies, those who sign up for coverage may qualify for state assistance offered for the first time this year. In addition, a new state law requires California residents to buy insurance coverage or face a tax penalty.
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