April 1, 2014
Contact: Isobel White, (510) 828-3554
Open enrollment for Covered California has ended, but multiple health coverage enrollment options for children and families still exist
Families can apply year-round for Medi-Cal and other programs
While the open enrollment period for Covered California ended on March 31, leading children’s health coverage organizations want to make sure families in California know that many affordable health care options for children and families remain available. The California Children’s Health Coverage Coalition shared an April Fools’ Day message with parents: “Don’t be fooled – your family may still be able to get covered.”
In particular, families should know they can apply year-round for coverage through the Medi-Cal program, which provides comprehensive coverage for more than half of California’s children. There is no deadline for enrolling in Medi-Cal coverage and eligible children can receive immediate care.
“With over two-thirds of uninsured children in California eligible for Medi-Cal, it is very important for families to hear about Medi-Cal’s ongoing enrollment opportunities,” said Maria Romero-Mora, a Certified Enrollment Counselor and Outreach Coordinator with California Coverage & Health Initiatives. “Enrollment counselors will continue to help families and children get covered throughout the year.”
What’s more, families who started a Covered California online application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 will have until April 15 to complete their application. Families who were unable to start their online application because of technical difficulties can contact Covered California by phone or connect with a certified enrollment counselor to complete their application by April 15.
In addition, families may still be able to enroll in coverage through Covered California if their circumstances have changed, such as getting married, having a baby or losing employer-sponsored insurance.
Here is a list of health coverage and care options available to California children and families, and information on how to apply.
Families can apply year-round for coverage through Medi-Cal, and eligible children can receive immediate care. Medi-Cal offers no or low-cost comprehensive health coverage for children and adults. Children in a family of four earning up to $59,625 a year may qualify. Starting this year, Medi-Cal has also expanded to cover an additional 1.4 million Californian parents and other adults. Adults in a family of four earning up to $32,500 a year may be eligible for coverage.
Families can apply by visiting www.coveredca.com, calling 1-800-300-1506, visiting their county social services office (find locations at http://1.usa.gov/Nj3as3), or visiting the nearest Community Health Center (find locations at www.californiahealthplus.com). Families can get in-person help from a certified enrollment counselor by going to www.coveredca.com and clicking on the “Find Local Help” button.
All former foster youth in California up to age 26 are also eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. More information is available at www.coveredtil26.org.
Covered California is the new health insurance marketplace in the state. While the 2014 open enrollment period ended on March 31, individuals who started an online application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 will have until 11:59 p.m. on April 15 to complete their application and select a plan. Families who were unable to start their online application because of technical difficulties can contact Covered California by phone or connect with a certified enrollment counselor to complete their application by April 15.
In addition, families and individuals may be eligible to enroll year-round if they experience a change in life circumstance (called a “qualifying life event”) such as getting married or divorced, having a baby or adopting a child, losing employer-sponsored insurance, or permanently moving to another area that has different health plans.
Families should contact Covered California at 1-800-300-1506 to learn if they qualify. Families can get in-person help from a certified enrollment counselor by going to www.coveredca.com and clicking on the “Find Local Help” button.
The next open enrollment period for Covered California will be November 1, 2014 – February 28, 2015.
Access for Infants or Mothers (AIM)
AIM provides comprehensive low-cost health insurance coverage to uninsured pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and 60 days after the child is born. Women can apply by visitingwww.aim.ca.gov or calling 1-800-433-2611.
Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program
The CHDP Program provides free periodic health assessments and referrals to low-income children. During their child’s CHDP health assessment, families have the opportunity to temporarily enroll their children in Medi-Cal for a period of up to two months, while the family completes the application for ongoing Medi-Cal coverage.
Families should contact the CHDP program in their local health department (available athttp://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/chdp/Pages/CountyOffices.aspx) for more information on how and where to apply.
Children’s Health Initiatives
In some counties, local Children’s Health Initiatives have developed health insurance programs to provide comprehensive health insurance to uninsured children who do not qualify for Medi-Cal. Families should visit www.cchi4families.org/about/network to find their local Health Initiative.
Community Health Clinics
Many community health centers throughout California have a mission to serve everyone who walks through their doors, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. Families can find nearby health centers by visiting www.californiahealthplus.com.
Children’s Defense Fund California
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, Policy & Communications Associate – 510-663-1294
Trineka Greer, Director, Communications – 916-813-9428
California Coverage & Health Initiatives
Suzie Shupe, Executive Director – 707-527-9213
United Ways of California
Judy Darnell, Director of Public Policy – 831-246-3099
CCHI is a leader in health advocacy for children and families and is recognized as a statewide network of community organizations that champion enrollment in health coverage, access to care and other services.