For Immediate ReleaseMay 07, 2015
Thousands insured through Affordable Care Act, but system faces challenges
San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin has exceeded its goal in enrolling individuals and families into health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), helping more than 10 percent of its population sign up for affordable coverage.
Staff from the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services will provide a report on local enrollment to the Marin County Board of Supervisors during its May 12 meeting, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.
Since ACA’s implementation in 2014, 27,000 applications in Marin have been approved for health insurance through the ACA, according to the Marin HHS. Marin’s Medi-Cal program has grown more than any other of the 14 Partnership HealthPlan of California counties since the beginning of ACA last spring.
Just over half of the 27,000 applications were for the Medi-Cal program, which allows individuals earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level to access the state public insurance program. Also, 10,077 families and individuals enrolled in a subsidized plan with Covered California (for those between 139 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level) and an additional 2,964 through an unsubsidized Covered California plan.
“We are thrilled with the success of enrollments,” said Heather Ravani, Marin’s Director of Human Services. “Having access to health care and preventive services is a critical aspect of individual and community well-being. We are seeing an increase in primary care visits and people receiving mental health and substance use services.”
Marin’s Medi-Cal program has increased by 71 percent since the ACA was implemented, resulting in 14,277 approved Medi-Cal applications, a higher volume than anticipated. HHS increased staffing and improved efficiencies to manage the expansion; however, the increased demand will require ongoing efforts to improve the capacity and the efficiency of the program.
Despite the increase in Medi-Cal enrollees, the wait time to get a primary care appointment for Medi-Cal members is shorter in Marin compared with figures statewide and the 14 Partnership HealthPlan of California managed Medi-Cal counties.
Until the end of October 2015, applications are being accepted for insurance through Covered California if the applicant has special circumstances such as having a baby or changing jobs. On November 1, anyone can apply through Covered California to get insured in 2016. Medi-Cal enrollment happens year-round.
Find more information at www.coveredmarin.org.
Heather RavaniAssistant DirectorHealth and Human Services
3250 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-6880Email: Heather RavaniMarin HHS website