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Covered California Kicks Off Open Enrollment with Bus Tour

SACRAMENTO -- Many are uncertain about the future of health care in America but Covered California wants to send a clear message -- health care is here to stay and open enrollment is happening now.

Covered California says its biggest challenge is to get otherwise healthy people to sign up for health coverage.

"Last year, 22,000 Covered California enrollees broke their arm or dislocated their shoulder. Eleven thousand had a cancer diagnosis," executive director Peter Lee said. "Not one of them went into the year planning for that. Insurance is about being there for you for the things that you don't plan for."

Covered California is kicking off the open enrollment period with a bus tour across California. Another barrier to people signing up for coverage, Lee says, is fears about costs.

"Nine out of 10 people get financial help. They get financial help, which means, for them, they will be spending less than $5 a day, like a cup of coffee, to get really good coverage. The thing we need to get the word out about is four out of five people eligible for that financial help don't know it," Lee said.

Open enrollment for Covered California will continue through Jan. 15.