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Oakland, CA - While experts work around the clock to fix the problems with the federal health insurance marketplace website, CALPIRG Education Fund is reaching out to young people to remind them that California has its own separate health insurance exchange. In addition, CALPIRG Education Fund is helping young people with tips on checking out their coverage options in other ways.
“Up to 41% of Californians between the ages of 18 and 34 don’t currently have insurance, and many of them are searching for affordable health coverage,” said Jon Fox, CALPIRG Consumer Advocate. “While there have been problems with the Federal exchange website, here in California our health insurance exchange is up and running – on the web, over the phone, and in person.”
In addition to visiting the CoveredCA.com website, consumers have three additional methods to enroll:
1. By phone. Call 1-800-300-1506 to apply for a health insurance plan and enroll over the phone. (TTY: 1-888-889-44500)
2. In person. Visit a trained counselor in your community to compare your options and apply in person. Find help in your area at https://www.coveredca.com/enrollment-assistance/
3. By mail. Complete a paper application and mail it in. You can download the paper application form and mail it to: Covered California, P.O. Box 989725, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9725
Californians can find more practical information in CALPIRG Education Fund’s new guide, So You Need Health Insurance. Now What? California Health Insurance 101
CALPIRG Education Fund’s outreach is part of their statewide education campaign this year reaching out to young people with facts about the changing health insurance landscape, and tips to help them find the right coverage for themselves.
“Many young Californians are uninsured, and for many more losing coverage is just around the corner when they graduate or turn 26,” said Jon Fox “It’s critical for students and other young people to get the information they need to make smart decisions.”
For insurance plans beginning January 1, 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and most people will be required to have insurance coverage or pay a fee. Through the new health insurance marketplace, consumers can compare plans and find out about financial help to lower the cost of insurance.
“It’s important to remember that there is still plenty of time to enroll,” said Jon Fox. “Applications need to be in by December 15 for coverage to begin in January, and the six-month open enrollment period goes through March 2014.”
CALPIRG Education Fund works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer meaningful opportunities for civic participation. Visit us at online at http://calpirgedfund.org/
 California Health Care Almanac: California’s Uninsured, Treading Water, California Healthcare Foundation, December, 2012.
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