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Regional Interests

Need Health Care? Covered California Prices at All-Time Low

If you shopped around for health insurance last year and decided you just couldn’t afford it, state officials say it’s time to check again.

Funds from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan are bringing the monthly cost of health plans to new lows – as long as those plans are purchased through Covered California, the state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace.

President Donald Trump did all he could to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and Biden is trying to repair that damage. The new infusion of federal cash has lowered the average cost of a health plan purchased through Covered California by close to 50%, from $215 a month to $110.

“Health insurance premiums have truly never been lower,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, noting that more half of its customers are now getting coverage for about $1 per month.

“Affordable, high-quality coverage – best doctors, hospitals, in the country – for the price of a bus ride, the price of a cup of coffee,” he said.

In light of these new savings, enrollment in the state’s marketplace plans more than doubled in the past month, with more than 76,000 new sign ups between mid-April and mid-May 2021, compared to just under 30,000 during the same time period in 2019.

Covered California is open from now until the end of the year for a special enrollment period when anyone can sign up or switch health plans.

— April Dembosky

Copyright 2021 KQED