Covered California low-cost healthcare opens special enrollment

More than three million people in California are now eligible for low-cost health insurance through the state's Covered California program.

Starting Monday, the program will open a special enrollment thanks to the recently signed American Rescue Act.

The benefits can apply whether you are insured or uninsured.

Program leaders say the new COVID relief bill, signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year, will inject $3 billion into the state's economy while also providing direct financial relief to people hit hardest by the pandemic.

Program executive director Peter Lee says three groups will be affected; those who are uninsured, those who are uninsured through other providers, and those who are already enrolled in Covered California.

Lee says about one million people in California qualify and are already not enrolled in Covered California. They will need to apply to see savings.

"We are not waiting until fall," said Lee. "We're treating this like it's one of our mega enrollment periods because this is major for California."

Lee revealed a new marketing campaign and explained how new federal tax credits will help save Californians hundreds of dollars a month on health insurance. In some cases, households can pay as low as $1 a month.

He gave an example of an Oakland family of four earning less than $80,000 a year. Out of pocket, their health care would average about $2,000 a month.

"What happens with the American Rescue Plan, it goes down to $383 a month."

Those already enrolled will not have to do a thing. Lee says their savings will be automatically applied. 

Covered California is part of the Federal Affordable Care Act.

This special enrollment period lasts until the end of the year.

Coverage can begin as early as May 1.

You can submit an application on the Covered California website.