As the Dec. 15 deadline to enroll for health insurance starting in January approached, Covered California released a list of the top areas in Los Angeles where high numbers of people who qualify for subsidized health insurance are believed to reside.
The “hot spots” released show the estimated highest concentrations of subsidy-eligible uninsured individuals—people who qualify for help to buy health insurance through Covered California but have not yet taken advantage of it.
“Covered California works across all of Los Angeles, but the map helps us focus our efforts on areas where we know many who are still uninsured live,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “Everyone who needs health insurance, or knows someone who does, should know they can get financial help to pay for top-brand health insurance coverage, and if they enroll by Dec. 15, their coverage can start on Jan. 1.”
“If you live in one of these areas—in Boyle Heights, in Huntington Park, in East Hollywood—and you do not have health insurance, now is the time to get covered,” Garcetti said. “This is our opportunity to build healthier communities throughout Los Angeles, Southern California and the rest of the state.”
Garcetti also recently recorded public service announcements in English (https://youtu.be/jXnifqGwZiw) and Spanish (https://youtu.be/amRxNmjPfhU) to encourage Angelenos to explore their options and find the best health care plan that fits their needs.
According to Covered California, the “hot spots” shown on the map at www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/CoveredCA_Heat_Map_LA.pdf contain a high number of subsidy-eligible residents in the Los Angeles region.
The hot spots generally contain more remaining subsidy-eligible individuals per capita than the rest of the Los Angeles region. For example, an estimated 5.1 percent of the population in the East Los Angeles hot spots are subsidy-eligible, compared with 1.8 percent on average in the greater Los Angeles region.
Covered California has redoubled its enrollment outreach efforts, including:
Working to expand the number of storefronts in neighborhood hot spots.
Working on the ground with certified insurance agents and community partners to ensure that enrollment events are located in optimal locations and that residents in hot spot communities are aware of enrollment locations nearby.
Conducting more than a dozen interviews with Spanish-language and Asian-language media and highlighting hot spots by name to reach Spanish speakers and Asian-language speakers in their neighborhoods.
*Scheduling phone banks in partnership with English- and Spanish-language news outlets and promoting enrollment in specific neighborhoods.
- Launching an intensive enrollment effort in communities where high numbers of subsidy-eligible African Americans reside, by going door to door to canvas with street teams; visiting barber shops, hair care salons and other small businesses; and deploying the “Van with a Plan” (a branded Covered California van) to areas where high numbers of subsidy-eligible, uninsured Californians live.
Enrollment locations can be found by visiting www.CoveredCA.com/get-help/local and searching for enrollment help statewide by ZIP code. In addition, hundreds of locations with Covered California signage mark places where consumers can enroll confidentially and at no cost.
“Our research indicates that one-third of those eligible to get financial help to buy insurance don’t know it’s available,” Lee said. “We want to leave no stone unturned and make sure our message reaches into neighborhoods throughout the state, especially those where we believe the highest number of the eligible uninsured live.”
The release of the map came as Covered California continued open enrollment, which is when all of those eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act can enroll.
As of Dec. 7, more than 83,000 Californians had selected plans through Covered California since open enrollment began on Nov. 1.
“Thousands of people are signing up every day for Covered California, and we’re off to a good start to meet our forecasted enrollment of 295,000 to 450,000 new enrollees during this third open-enrollment period,” Lee said.
Covered California estimates that 750,000 people in the state are eligible for help paying for their health insurance but remain uninsured, with 204,000 of them living in Los Angeles County. An additional 1.4 million people statewide are believed to qualify for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal, with 389,000 of them living in Los Angeles County.
Covered California developed the map by combining estimates of eligibility for coverage under the Affordable Care Act from a model of California insurance markets that was developed by the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research and the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education, known as the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (or CalSIM) and from U.S. Census data from the American Community Survey.
The model accounts for individuals who are eligible for other sources of coverage (Medi-Cal, Medicare or job-based coverage), as well as those who are undocumented.
The estimates also incorporate Covered California’s currently enrolled consumers (as of July 2015).
To find out more about the health plans and options available, consumers can visit www.CoveredCA.com. Consumers can get a quick assessment of how much it would cost to buy health insurance by clicking on “Shop and Compare,” and they can apply for coverage online. Those who need assistance can click on the “Find Local Help to Enroll” button to find a certified enroller or insurance agent who can provide free, confidential assistance in a variety of languages.
Open enrollment continues through Jan. 31.