Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that San Francisco is now participating in pre-enrollment into new health coverage options that will become available on January 1, 2014 through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
San Francisco is a national leader in bringing affordable health care access to its residents and is now poised to enroll an estimated 30,000 newly eligible individuals into the expanded Medi-Cal program. Additionally, the City will support the enrollment of an estimated 40,000 uninsured individuals into other health coverage products offered through Covered California, the state’s new marketplace for purchasing coverage.
“Successfully implementing the Affordable Care Act is vital in helping thousands of our residents get access to a health care plan that will help them lead healthier lives,” said Mayor Lee. “If you already have health insurance, you can stay with the plan you have. But for our residents who need affordable insurance, the Affordable Care Act offers new opportunities. I encourage residents who do not have health insurance to reach out and find a plan that works for them and their families.”
Under the ACA, Medi-Cal – the state’s health insurance program for low-income parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities – will expand to cover all single adults between the ages of 18 and 64 with incomes at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($15,864 per year for an individual). Households with incomes above the Medi-Cal threshold but below 400% FPL ($45,960 for an individual and $78,120 for a family of three) will qualify for subsidies on private coverage purchased through Covered California.
Expanded Medi-Cal enrollment is being spearheaded locally by the San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA), while Covered California is the lead on enrollment into other coverage products.
"We are excited about today's launch because we get to tell people that there are affordable health insurance options for them now,” said Trent Rhorer, Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency. “For most people, this will be the first time ever that they will have health care insurance.”
Residents seeking coverage can apply through multiple channels beginning today:
• Online at https://apply.coveredca.com
• By phone to Covered California at (800) 300-1506, Monday through Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday from 8am-6pm
• In person at SF BenefitsNet, 1440 Harrison Street, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
Individuals who do not qualify for Covered California or Medi-Cal will continue to be eligible for Healthy San Francisco, a local health access plan, but not insurance, administered by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
“We are proud of our city's long history of promoting and providing health care access for all,” said Barbara Garcia, Director of Health, Department of Public Health. Today marks another important milestone in that effort. Many of our residents will now have access to full health insurance and all of its benefits. For those who do not qualify under the new ACA guidelines, however, Healthy San Francisco will still be there for them.”
Mayor Lee convened a Universal Healthcare Council locally to examine San Francisco’s implementation of the ACA and engage health experts, labor partners, city agencies, and community based organizations and business partners to evaluate how local policies support the implementation process. The Council kicked off a series of meetings in September 2013.