For the first time in 17 years, political grandstanding has snowballed into an official government shut down. News outlets and elected officials counted down the looming shutdown, while seemingly debating which agencies should receive funding in some piecemeal fashion. Either way, one this is for sure – shutdown or not, the Affordable Health Care Act aka “Obamacare” rolled out today.
Covered California™, California’s marketplace for health care coverage, opened for business today, providing Californians and small businesses access to quality, affordable health care coverage from major health insurance carriers.
“As of Oct. 1, Covered California is officially open for business — our phone lines are humming, our website is live, and we stand with thousands of Californians across the state as we kick off our effort to help educate and enroll millions of currently uninsured Californians,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.
— Quddus (@iamQuddus) October 1, 2013
Today’s announcement kicks off a six-month open-enrollment period and includes:
- The formal launch of the new features of CoveredCA.com. They will enable consumers to determine their eligibility for premium assistance and no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal and to shop for, compare and enroll in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
- The statewide rollout of outreach efforts and marketing that will educate consumers about their options and how to enroll.
- Forecasts and background of who Covered California is seeking to enroll. It is estimated that during this initial six-month open-enrollment period (ending March 31, 2014), Covered California will enroll 500,000 to 700,000 Californians who are eligible for premium assistance to make their care more affordable.
- The opening of Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) that will allow employers to start shopping for small-group coverage that can start in January. This SHOP is not subject to the six-month open-enrollment period.
It’s a new state of health for Californians – DHCS Secretary Diana Dooley #CoveredCA
— Covered California (@CoveredCA) October 1, 2013