Officials: More Californians signing up for health care this year

California Connection
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The state is seeing a surge in Californians signing up for its health insurance.

"Getting people signed up is a win-win," said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.

California officials Monday said they were encouraged by the numbers they were seeing during the open enrollment period.

"We all benefit when more people sign up because it means that healthier people sign up, health care costs go down for everyone,” Lee said. “That's the equation that led to us having the lowest premium increase in our history."

Officials said so far in 2019, there had been a 16% increase in the number of people signed up for state health care coverage than the same time last year.

The state Legislature and governor this year brought back a mandate requiring Californians to have health insurance or else pay a fine.

The state also expanded coverage access to undocumented immigrants under the age of 26.

Lee said what helped boost the numbers the most was a $1 billion investment into subsidies.

"The governor said, ‘We know there are middle-class Californians spending 25% of their income on their health care. We're going to help those people,’” Lee said. “Up to 600% of poverty, for an individual that means $75,000. For a family of four, $150,000.”

Californians who want state health care coverage by the first of the year should sign up by Friday. Officials say the open enrollment period closes Jan. 31.

 

Ashley Zavala filed this report.

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