With many questions remaining about health care reform at both the state and federal level, we thought a quick guide to some of the key dates would be useful to those of you who are on the front lines answering patient questions each day.
- October 1: Open enrollment began. Consumers are now able to sign up for coverage through the Covered California™ website, call center and certified enrollment counselors.
- November 25: Covered California hotline launched for individuals in coverage plans being canceled because they don’t cover the essential benefits: (855) 857-0445.
- December 23: Deadline for consumers to enroll in order for coverage to begin January 2014. (deadline extended from December 15)
- January 1, 2014: Covered California health coverage begins.
- January 5, 2014: Initial premium payment due to health plans for coverage effective January 2014 (deadline extended from December 26)
- March 31, 2014: Last day of open enrollment. Those who have not enrolled cannot sign up for coverage until October 2014 unless a “life event” such as the birth of a baby occurs.
- April 15, 2015: Consumers who choose not to buy health insurance in 2014 but are not exempt must pay a penalty fee with their taxes.
It is important to note that the open enrollment period does not apply to individuals eligible for Medi-Cal, who may enroll throughout the year. If you have questions or patients who are interested in enrolling, contact L.A. Care at 1-855-222-4239 or visit our website at www.lacarecovered.org.