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San Diego Exceeds Covered California Enrollment Goal

Above: The state's online health insurance exchange Covered California opens for businesses Oct. 1. Under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans must have health insurance by April 1 or face a fine.

More people in San Diego have signed up for the state healthcare exchange than was projected for the county. Covered California is in the final stretch of the enrollment period, with a goal to sign up 2 million people statewide before March 31, the deadline to guarantee coverage this year.

It’s estimated 1 in 4 people in the state don’t have access to health insurance. San Diego has enrolled more than 20,000 more people than they had projected to have signed up by the end of March. In fact, 64,000 people in the county signed up between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31. The state enrolled close to 728,000 people in the same period.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee came to San Diego to share the news.

“Here in San Diego over 80 percent of the people signing up are getting a subsidy, which means they’re getting a check sent every month to the private plan they pick to lower the cost of that plan,” Lee said. “For some that make less money, their share is literally 20 bucks, 30 bucks. For others it may be a few hundred dollars, depending on their income, it’s a sliding scale. But the vast majority of people signing up for Covered California are getting a subsidy to lower the cost of that care."

Thousands of people are going to community clinics to get help enrolling.

Officials also say more than 870,000 people are now eligible for Medi-Cal, bringing the total number of people eligible for new healthcare in the state to 1.5 million.

Covered California also began airing television ads recently urging more Latinos to sign-up, and is partnering with community groups to create in-person opportunities for enrollment, particularly in Latino communities.

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