2019 has been a banner year for making healthcare more accessible and affordable in California, according to consumer and health advocacy groups. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about the Covered California plan…

The open enrollment period for CoveredCA was expanded significantly so people can now sign up for subsidized coverage on the individual health insurance market through end of January. The state also expanded Medi-Cal to all low-income people under age 26, regardless of immigration status. Xiomara Pena with the Small Business Majority says the state also increased subsidies for people in the middle class, a group that includes many small business owners. “These are evident wins for the small business community, because these new measures do hold the potential to both reduce costs for small businesses and to ensure that more people are able to access affordable health insurance.” The state also ended the so-called “senior penalty,” slightly raising the income levels for low-income seniors and people with disabilities so that more can qualify for Medi-Cal.

Consumer advocates note that despite this year’s progress, two-point-nine million Californians still lack health insurance, so future efforts will focus on lowering costs and expanding access even further.

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