Clinica celebration

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee speaks at Clinica Sierra Vista in 2017 as part of a bus tour celebrating the start of open enrollment. 

People who currently have health coverage under Covered California can now renew their health plans for next year.

The renewal period started on Monday, with those looking to renew facing an 8.3 percent rate increase, according to the organization. However, that is below the state average of 8.7 percent. Customers have until January 15, 2019 to renew.

Covered California said customers can reduce their rate increase to 6.9 percent if they choose the lowest-cost plan in their tier.

“Covered California’s marketplace fosters competition that puts consumers in the driver’s seat and gives them the power to shop and save,” said Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “Healthcare is local, and the price of coverage varies by health plan and region, so consumers will be encouraged to shop when they renew this fall.”

The organization said there are more than 17,000 Covered California members in Kern County. Customers in this area will be able to choose plans from Blue Shield, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente.

Those who don’t currently have insurance with Covered California have a little longer to wait before they can sign up. The organization said open enrollment will start on Oct. 15 and will end in January.

People with special qualifying life events such as a move or loss of coverage can enroll anytime during the year. Medi-Cal enrollment is also year-round.

Customers may able to be qualify for financial help with their plan by using the Shop and Compare Tool.

Those who want to enroll or have questions about enrollment can visit CoveredCA.com or call (800) 300-1506.

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