As we approach the holiday season and the start of a new year, Californians from around the state are joining their families, friends and neighbors to enjoy each other’s company. They will sit around dinner tables, revisit traditions, and celebrate at different holiday parties. There is no better time to talk to neighbors, family members, and friends about the gift that will last longer than the holiday season – the gift of health.
With open enrollment for Covered California and enrollment into Medi-Cal ongoing, there is no better gift than to enroll yourself and your loved ones into health coverage to prevent chronic illness and avoid medical debt. The Affordable Care Act opens pathways to a healthy life for many Californians – helping them stay healthy for many holiday seasons to come.
This year many Californians are already securing their health for the New Year by signing up for coverage through Medi-Cal and Covered California. Very recently, in just 19 days time, over 290,000 Californians applied for private insurance or Medi-Cal.
Millions of Californians still lack health coverage and affordable access to a doctor. More than 3.3 million Californians have taken advantage of new opportunities to find health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, including the 2.2 million that joined Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. Now, nearly 1 in 3 Californians receive Medi-Cal coverage and can access valuable preventive medical services. Providing free and low cost preventive care is key to protecting community health.
“As we approach the Dec. 15 deadline to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1, we encourage everyone in California to explore their options and get covered for 2015,” noted Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee in a recent press release. Open enrollment ends February 15, 2015, but Medi-Cal is open all year for eligible Californians.
Californians can pledge to gift the gift of health through Covered California’s site by sending an email to a loved one, present a certificate that pledges your assistance in getting them covered, and find resources on where they can receive in-person assistance.
Applying for Medi-Cal is always free and confidential and many organizations are able to provide help to get covered. Applicants can apply online, call or go directly to their closest county social services office. Local and regional community health centers can also help you apply. Visit these sites to identify the closest office.
Find the Nearest County Office Find a Community Health Center
At the very least, talk with your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors about the importance of coverage. Covered California has provided conversation tips to dispel the myths of getting coverage. It’s crucial for Californians to get coverage, providing an opportunity to have access to preventive are, including routine check-ups, vaccinations and screenings.
No better gift can be ensuring that you spend the next holiday with loved ones – not only this year, but the years to come.