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Covered California’s new special-enrollment period runs through Dec. 31, and consumers who enroll by April 30 will see lower premiums for their health coverage beginning on May 1.

The new American Rescue Plan, also known as the COVID economic relief package, is expected to help an estimated 2.5 million Californians, including those without health insurance and people enrolled directly through a health insurance carrier, by injecting $3 billion into the state’s economy to lower health care costs.

The ability to have access to quality health coverage is more important than ever before during this age of COVID-19, especially for African- Americans and other people of color who are most likely to get infected, hospitalized, or die from the virus.

Many Californians will now be able to get a quality, name-brand health plan for as little as $1 per month or richer benefits for less than $100 per month, but only if they sign up for health coverage through Covered California. In addition, consumers who are directly insured through a health insurance company can switch to a Covered California health plan and could save up to $700 per month on their health coverage — giving them savings of thousands of dollars annually.

Covered California is offering 11 brand-name health plans to choose from, and health insurance companies vary by region. The health plans are: Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Chinese Community Health Plan, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, L.A. Care, Molina Health Care, Oscar, Sharp, Valley Health Plan, and Western Health Advantage.

A new “Shop and Compare” tool is also now available on CoveredCA.com to allow consumers to easily see exactly how much money they can save on health coverage with expanded financial help. Consumers enter their ZIP code, household income and the ages of the people in the household to see how low their monthly health care costs can be and the options in their area for both Covered California and Medi-Cal health plans.

Uninsured consumers will see lower premiums with Covered California Health Plans. Consumers already insured directly by health insurance companies can save by switching to Covered California plans

Those interested in learning more about their health coverage options through Covered California and Medi-Cal can:

• Visit www.CoveredCA.com.

• Find local help from insurance agents or individuals in navigator organizations who provide free and confidential assistance over the phone or in person, in a variety of languages.

• Get a call from a certified enroller. Covered California will have someone reach out to the consumer to help them for free.

• Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.