Covered California: Open enrollment now underway

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One year ago Americans all across the country were signing up for health care coverage, and now it's that time of year again. (KABC)

One year ago, Americans all across the country were signing up for health care coverage, and now it's that time of year again.

Representatives of Covered California have been going up and down the state of California on a nine-city bus tour to get people enrolled. Friday, they were in downtown Los Angeles to spread the word.

"Tomorrow, November 15th, is the first day of the three-month open enrollment period," said Peter Lee, CEO of Covered California.

Going without insurance will cost you. There is a penalty that has gone up two to three times more than it was last year.

For example, for an adult the flat rate penalty goes from $95 to $325. And for a family, it goes up from $285 to $975.

But that's not the worst that can happen.

"The penalty to worry about is showing up at the emergency room, getting diagnosed with cancer, and walking out with a $500,000 debt," said Lee.

Before you choose a health plan -- you have until Feb. 15, 2015 to do so -- here's some advice on how to find a plan that you really want, and will work for you.

First off, you have 90 days to decide. But you need to sign up for coverage by Dec. 15 if you want it to begin on Jan. 1.

Check with your doctor, not just the insurer, to make sure your physician is in-network.

This year, there are fewer PPOs on the exchange. Health Net will no longer sell PPO coverage through Covered California.

And the cost of your prescriptions may go up. That's because fewer brand-name drugs are on preferred lists, and generic drug prices are going up.


Related Topics:
healthhealth insurancecovered californiaconsumercaliforniaLos Angeles
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