Santa Clara County focuses on insuring immigrant population
Santa Clara County, Calif. – The 2018 open enrollment period for affordable health insurance is underway. Valley Health Plan (VHP), with the lowest cost Covered California premium rates in Santa Clara County, is focusing on local community, health, and wellness events, as well as its launch of a multi-language media campaign.
Over 59,000 County residents successfully signed up for or renewed qualified health insurance plans at Covered California during last year’s enrollment period. The County wants to make the enrollment process as simple as possible for residents and the estimated 8% of Santa Clara County’s total population who are uninsured – whether they are completing the process online on their own, or with the help of an enrollment counselor by phone or in-person. The Health System supports a “no-wrong-door” approach with enrollment counselors available to talk through the best cost and coverage with each plan and find the right one for each person and family.
“We want to maximize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for our residents,” said Rene G. Santiago, County of Santa Clara Health System Director. “Despite the talk in Washington of repealing or replacing it, the ACA is alive and well in our community. We are committed to reaching out to our diverse community to make sure they know that programs are available to help cover potential health insurance costs. Health insurance is one of the best things you can do for your family’s health.”
During Open Enrollment, tens of thousands of Santa Clara County residents will be able to join over four million people who now have affordable health coverage through California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Covered California, the State’s health insurance marketplace.
“Valley Health Plan is the only locally-based commercial health plan in our county,” said Bruce Butler, CEO of Valley Health Plan. “We are dedicated to helping families find the right services and essential health benefits.”
Local in-person enrollment assistance is available through VHP’s Patient Access Department by calling 1-866-967-4677. Santa Clara County residents can also enroll directly through Covered California’s website: www.CoveredCA.com.
Medi-Cal, California’s free health insurance available to those with low incomes, takes applications year-round. Children in low income families are eligible for Medi-Cal regardless of their immigration status. Currently in Santa Clara County there are over 330,000 adults and children receiving Medi-Cal benefits. As Medi-Cal requires annual renewal, the Social Services Agency assists customers year-round in maintaining their benefits. Valley Health Plan manages VHP Network which oversees almost half of the total county Medi-Cal enrollment at over 135,500 lives.
For Santa Clara County residents with incomes above the limits for Medi-Cal, insurers available in 2018 include Valley Health Plan, Kaiser, Blue Shield and Anthem. Many residents are eligible for significant tax credits through Covered California to help pay the cost of these insurance plans. Due to larger tax credits, nearly four out of five people will see their monthly premiums stay the same or decrease. People can visit Covered California’s “Shop and Compare” tool to review options for affordable health coverage.
To avoid any gaps in coverage or a tax penalty, a person must enroll by December 15, 2017 so coverage will begin on January 1, 2018. The deadline to renew or enroll in Covered California health insurance is January 31, 2017.