Asian American and Pacific Islander community members have until January 31 to enroll in one of Covered California’s qualified health plans.
In a press conference last week, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) joined Covered California, the state’s marketplace created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to remind the community about the deadlines and importance of enrolling.
California has one of the longest open enrollment deadlines, until January 31 to enroll, which means that health coverage would begin on February 1.
There is no deadline or Open Enrollment Period for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program for low-income community members. Those who qualify for Medi-Cal can sign up at any time all year round.
On December 18, 2019, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the individual mandate requirement and sent the case back to a federal district judge in Texas, who previously ruled the entirety of the ACA unconstitutional.
However, as the decision makes its way through the court process, where 17 state attorney generals, are seeking to protect the ACA, the ACA continues to be in effect. Therefore, any individual with an ACA health plan will have health coverage and will not lose access to their coverage through 2020.
Advancing Justice-LA also assured the community that the public charge rule has been stopped from going into effect by a federal lawsuit and they should not be afraid of enrolling in Covered California or Medi-Cal because it will not jeopardize their ability to get legal permanent residence (also known as getting your green card).
Health coverage has been integral to maintaining a person’s overall well-being and is essential in addressing the significant health disparities for many marginalized and immigrant communities.
Over a million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) in California alone have gained access to health coverage since 2013 as a result of the ACA through Covered California or expanded Medi-Cal.
The organization offers in-language support (Tagalog hotline is 8550-300-2552) and can connect community members with Covered California navigators. Additionally, individuals may apply directly through the Covered California website (www.coveredca.com) to learn more, sign up for, or renew a plan before the window closes on January 31, 2020. n