As consumers shop for health coverage, it is important to know that there is a wide variety of free support and new shopping tools to assist them during this process.
And I would like to make an emphasis on ‘free’ support, as you shouldn’t be charged for getting assistance in shopping for a health plan or enrolling in health coverage.
That variety of free support includes different options: Online, by phone, at community events, enrollment centers and at more than 800 Covered California storefronts statewide.
You can visit www.coveredca.com/get-help/local/ for free confidential help in your area.
One of the things that Covered California did for this new open enrollment period, which started on Nov. 1 and will end Jan. 31, is having an upgraded online shopping tool that enables consumers to see 12 plan options on a page and filter their choices by plan, plan type, price, out-of-pocket costs, quality rating and metal tier, among other features.
Consumers can also select a preferred plan and the information will be transferred to the application automatically.
Another feature consumers can see on the Covered California website is the ability to shop for health or dental insurance and switch between the two offerings.
Also those consumers who want assistance by phone can leave their phone number for a call back from the Covered California Service Center. Now consumers have the option of getting an immediate call from an expert enroller to assist them with their shopping and application. This new feature is called “Help On-Demand” and a certified enroller will contact you within 30 minutes or less during normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
However, Help On-Demand is for new enrollments only. Existing members need to contact their Certified Enroller or call the Covered California Service Center at (800) 300-1506 if they don’t have a certified enroller.
“Covered California is making it easier than ever to sign up — whether it is online, over the phone or in person,” said Peter V. Lee, Covered California executive director. “We think this will ensure that our interested customers get the help they need to complete the application process.”
According to Covered California, hundreds of thousands of people had already gotten through the renewal process.
Covered California officials continue to remind consumers the importance of shopping and comparing as they look for health coverage or renew their current plan.
Quick reminder, Dec. 15 is the deadline to start the New Year with health coverage whether you are renewing health coverage or getting health coverage for the first time.
In the next couple of weeks until the end of the fourth open enrollment period at the end of January 2017, Vida en el Valle will go over the ABC’s of the Affordable Care Act to let you know about some of the changes you will see during this new open enrollment period as well as to refresh your memory of some of the information, or terms of the health care reform.
Also keep in mind that open enrollment continues through Jan. 31, 2017.
If you have any questions regarding the health reform you can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and will address those concerns in future editions.