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SACRAMENTO, California — The state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, has begun the renewal process for 1.12 million individuals who enrolled in plans in the exchange last year. It also unveiled improvements to make enrollment easier for 2015.
“Last year, we succeeded in signing up millions of Californians in health coverage through Covered California and Medi-Cal,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said.
“We do believe many significant improvements have been made that will assist our consumers during both renewal and open enrollment this year,” Lee added.
Consumers who complete the renewal process will hear from their insurance plans in December. Their selected health plan will send a statement reflecting coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015. Consumers who take no action will be renewed into their existing plan.
Individuals who have health coverage through Medi-Cal renew their coverage throughout the year, on a rolling monthly schedule. Medi-Cal will contact them directly if they need to take action. Unless they are contacted by Medi-Cal, these individuals do not need to go to the Covered California website to renew or apply.
Of the Californians who selected a plan during the initial open enrollment, 1,140,000 (or 81 percent) had their coverage take effect by paying their first month’s premium. A total of 1.12 million individuals have effectuated coverage and will be part of the renewal process.
Covered California expects this number to increase as special enrollment continues and as recent enrollees effectuate their coverage, with about 1.3 million Californians participating in the renewal process through the end of the year.
Covered California continues to gear up for open enrollment, which will begin November 15 and continue through February 15.
Open enrollment is the next opportunity for all Californians to benefit from new insurance rules, including the requirement that insurance be offered regardless of health status. In addition, this is the window of time when Californians can buy subsidized coverage starting in 2015.
Covered California has adopted changes, guided by a newly released report titled “Covered California Open Enrollment 2013-2014: Lessons Learned,” to improve consumers’ experience. The report commissioned by Covered California offers an in-depth look at Covered California’s work during the first open-enrollment period. It is available online at www.CoveredCA.com/resources/PDFs/10-14-2014-Lessons-Learned-final.pdf.
“At the same time, we know we have more work to do. We want Covered California to deliver best-in-class customer service, and we know we’re not there yet,” Lee said. “But we’re getting better every week, and we will continue to learn and improve.”
Covered California offers a range of choices of private health insurance plans. Consumers can choose the health plan and level of coverage (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum) that best meets their health needs and budget.
For more information about the enrollment numbers, see the October 2014 “Individual Market Enrollment Report” o