Covered California Launches Renewal Initiatives

RenewalCoveredCACovered California has begun the renewal process for 1.12 million people who enrolled in plans in the exchange last year. Open enrollment will begin Nov. 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, Californians can buy subsidized coverage starting in 2015. 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 January 1, 2015. Consumers who take no action will be renewed into their existing plan. More than 12,000 certified insurance agents, 10,000 county eligibility workers, and 6,400 certified enrollment counselors will help enroll consumers.

People who have health coverage through Medi-Cal can 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 people don’t need to go to the Covered California website to renew or apply.

Covered California also provided updated enrollment numbers for 2014. Eighty-one percent of Californians who selected a plan during the initial open enrollment had their coverage take effect by paying their first month’s premium. A total of 1.12 million people have coverage and will be part of the renewal process. Covered California expects this number to increase with about 1.3 million Californians participating in the renewal process through the end of the year.

“This is our very first experience with renewal, and we will learn things during this process just as we learned a great deal about open enrollment during 2013 to 2014. We do believe many significant improvements have been made that will assist our consumers during renewal and open enrollment this year. We know this open-enrollment period will be more challenging in some ways. Consumers will only have three months to enroll, compared with the six months they had last time. This is complicated by our knowledge that many who are uninsured have adapted to a culture of coping and have become accustomed to living without health insurance,” said Covered California executive director Peter Lee.

Covered California will start open enrollment with more than double the number of service center representatives — state employed and contractors — to dramatically reduce wait times and help consumers enroll. More than 1,300 representatives will help consumers over the phone, by chat or by processing their paper applications or documents. This year, Covered California will have 254  reps who can serve consumers in languages other than English, compared to 55 in 2013. Covered California is working with health plans to make it possible for consumers to make their first premium payment online as soon as they have selected a plan. This will give consumers evidence that their payment has been received and that they will have coverage in place.

Covered California is redesigning its interactive voice response (IVR) system to handle more consumer calls while reducing wait times. With less than one month before open enrollment begins, consumers can begin the process of shopping for 2015 coverage. They can find out if they are eligible for financial assistance and find out how much a health plan will cost them, by using Covered California’s Shop and Compare Tool (on CoveredCA.com at www.CoveredCA.com/shopandcompare/#calculator). Covered California also offers a full listing of the plans and their rates at www.CoveredCA.com/PDFs/CC-health-plans-booklet-2015.pdf).

Last Updated 10/20/2021

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