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Covered California Open Enrollment Begins Today

An estimated 400,000 Californians are expected to newly enroll in the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California.

Those enrolling for the first time or looking to change their current insurance coverage, will have 11 insurers to choose from, including, Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross, and Kaiser Permanente.

Over the summer, Covered California unveiled a rate hike of 13.2 percent for 2017.

But Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, says rate increases depend on the individual.

"Eighty percent of Californians with Covered California can either lower what they paid last year or have an increase of less than five percent if they're willing to change plans," he says.

Lee says the agency wants to make sure consumers go to Covered California's website to understand what their options are and make the right choice for their health care needs.

The state will focus on multi-ethnic, multi-lingual advertising to get the word out about enrollment with a bus tour traveling throughout California beginning November 12.

"There's still hundreds of thousands of Californians that are uninsured and every day they go without insurance is...rolling the dice. They might be going into the hospital and walking out in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars," Lee says.

Coverage begins January 1 for those who enroll or make changes to their current plan by December 15.

The last day to enroll or change coverage is January 31.

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