by Chris Huckins Google+ Email 


17 March 2014

California Enrolled More in Medi-Cal Than Covered California Plans

Posted in Latest News

California Enrolled More in Medi-Cal Than Covered California Plans

Covered California’s board announced Thursday that with just 2 weeks left to get health insurance, they're still shy of their Latino enrollment goooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllll.

Setting targetsbefore open enrollment started October 1st, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee hoped to enroll 500,000-700,000 by the deadline, March 31st, with specific targets being Latinos, who comprise 60% of the uninsured in California and “young invincibles” (ages 18-34). 

Why go after young adults? They use fewer resources and by paying into the system, will balance the cost to cover older people, who generally require more medical expenses. The Obama administration hopes 40% of enrollments are young invincibles.

Channeling his inner “el adivino”, Lee predicted that under the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, 2.6 million Californians would qualify for financial assistance and 1.4 million would be newly eligible for Medi-Cal, which is completely paid for by the government.

Premium assistance, for those wondering, is granted to individuals who earn roughly $16,000-44,000 annually before taxes. Families may qualify too, but household size and earnings affect eligibility. 

On Thursday, with 2 weeks left to enroll and key demographics in mind, Lee chose the historic Mexican marketplace, Olvera Street in Los Angeles to detail Covered California’s progress.

While the enrollment figures weren't pretty, they weren't in dire need of cosmetic surgery. Lee admit that Latino participation was unsatisfactory, but focused outreach before the deadline would motivate more to enroll. It helped to speak on Margarita Thursday to a crowd thirty for coverage...and tequila.

Here are the numbers so far: 

1.1 million signed up for Medi-Cal. 

Over 925,000 enrolled in Covered California plans with 27% age 18-34. 

87% of applicants qualified for premium assistance. 

22% of total enrollments are Latino.

Of the projected goal of 265,000 Latino enrollments, Covered California achieved 154,000. 

President Obama announced earlier in the week that nationwide, 4.2 million enrolled for health insurance. The national goal is 7 million by April 1st. 

California is ranked 1st in number of enrollments per capita and 1st in awesomeness. 

Covered California plans to boost Latino participation by hosting 650 enrollment events till March 31st. 

There's still time to apply! Sign up by March 31st to avoid penalties on tax returns next year!