SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Covered California is kicking off a 38-stop bus tour of hospitals, clinics and storefronts where Californians can enroll in affordable health insurance.
The hope is to make healthcare coverage accessible to all Californians.
The Covered California bus tour will make a stop at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego as open enrollment begins Sunday, November 1st.
"We are putting a spotlight on enrollment and coverage and highlighting care being delivered across the state to Covered California enrollees," said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. "We want to make sure all uninsured Californians know that financial help is available to help people buy health insurance and that they can join thousands of Covered California consumers who are getting the care they need when they need it."
He added, "We need to remind those who are considering going without coverage that they are a diagnosis or an accident away from going broke or not getting the early intervention that can be life-saving."
There are 750,000 California residents without insurance that are eligible for Covered California, including 60,000 San Diego County residents.
At Scripps Health's five area hospitals, more than 7,500 Covered California members have received care for trauma, organ transplants, heart attacks, surgeries and chemotherapy, and many do not realize there is financial help.
"Once a year the uninsured can enroll in Covered California, and many do not realize they are eligible for subsidies, but they are," said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps Health CEO.
Covered California's third historic open-enrollment period is aimed at reducing the number of uninsured in California. An estimated 2.2 million uninsured Californians are eligible to get financial help to make their insurance affordable by enrolling in Covered California or Medi-Cal.
Those who need insurance can go to CoveredCA.com to learn about their options and to find locations in their community where they can get free, confidential help to enroll, or they can get help enrolling over the phone. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and goes through Jan. 31.
More than 2 million Californians have purchased health insurance through Covered California since the exchange began offering coverage in 2014.