Smokers in California won’t be charged more for health care because of their habit. And people getting other kinds of public assistance will have a streamlined way to enroll in Medi-Cal.
Anthony Wright of the consumer advocacy group Health Access says there are reasons why California has been implementing the federal law so vigorously.
“Californians are more likely to be uninsured, more likely to not get coverage on the job, more likely to have to buy coverage, and more likely as individuals to be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions than residents of all other states,” says Wright.
Recent legal immigrants in the U.S. for less than five years will be part of the Medicaid expansion in California. Also, people buying their own insurance in the Golden State will continue to have the option to claim domestic partners as spouses.
“California has been a leader in maximizing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, to not just implement it but to improve upon it,” says Wright.
Covered California says its recent enrollment numbers show more Latinos and young people signed up this year.
The Nevada state health exchange is calling this year’s open enrollment a success, with nearly twice the number of enrollees in half the amount of time as last year.
Sunday is the deadline to sign up for a new health insurance plan if you’re buying your own. Covered California says there will be hundreds of enrollment events around the state to give people in-person help.
California chronic disease patients say new trends in insurance coverage for prescription drugs are discriminatory.
Californians may be able to save money if they switch from COBRA health coverage to Covered California plans.