Covered California makes Consumer Report’s “Nice” list
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Consumer Reports today lauded Covered California for making it easier for consumers to shop for health insurance, listing the exchange with 10 entities other nationwide recognized for consumer-friendly policies and practices.
Consumer Reports said Covered California earned its way on the “nice” column of its annual “Naughty & Nice” list because its standardized benefits had “eliminated much of the confusion” for consumers buying health insurance.
Unlike most other states which offer an unlimited number of designs, Covered California requires insurance companies to compete for consumers based on the same basic benefits and co-pays, which makes easier for consumers to compare their option from plan to plan.
“For too long, benefit designs have been nightmares of confusion and all too often barriers to consumers getting needed care,” said Covered California’s executive director Peter Lee. “These standard designs promote true apples-to-apples comparisons when consumers are shopping, and promote access to care by including many benefits that are not subject to a deductible.”
Others listed alongside Covered California on the Consumer Reports “Nice” list were Home Depot, Chipotle, Panera Bread, CVS, Dish Network, Dr. Martens For Life, JetBlue, Norobo, Proctor and Gamble, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Southwest Airlines, and Target. Among those on the “Naughty” list were airlines, banks and telecommunications companies.
Covered California’s third historic open enrollment period is underway and continues through Jan. 31.
Consumers who want to explore their option can use the “Shop and Compare” tool at CoveredCA.com. Users who enter just a few pieces of information about themselves – income, ZIP code, age and family size – can learn whether they qualify for help to buy health insurance. Customers who need more assistance can click on “Find Local Help to Enroll” to find locations in their communities where they can get free, confidential assistance.
More than 34,000 new people selected health insurance plans through Covered California between November 1 and November 17. In addition, 33,000 people – including new and renewing members – have signed up for the new optional dental insurance offered for adults.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.