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Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Deadline This Sunday to Get CoveredCA Insurance by Jan. 1


Thursday, December 12, 2019   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – This Sunday is the deadline for people to sign up for Covered California health insurance and have the coverage begin on Jan. 1.

Starting in 2020, the state will require everyone to get coverage or pay a penalty.

Rachel Linn Gish, director of communications for the advocacy group Health Access California, says insurance coverage leads to healthier families.

"Making sure that you can get the primary and preventive care for you and your family and the peace of mind that that comes with is priceless,” she stresses. “And so we hope that, regardless of whether there is a penalty or not, people will go and sign up for care."

If you miss Sunday's deadline for coverage starting New Year's Day, all is not lost. The open enrollment period runs through the end of January.

Some 1.5 million people are expected to enroll in coverage through the CoveredCA marketplace. Another 4 million low-income Californians have gotten health insurance since the state expanded Medi-Cal via the Affordable Care Act.

The state has invested $1.5 billion to increase subsidies that make insurance significantly cheaper than in past years.

So Gish encourages people who are uninsured to give CoveredCA.com another look.

"People would be surprised just how much financial assistance is available in Covered California,” she states. “More than 90% of people who signed up for coverage get some level of financial assistance."

California was the first state to extend subsidies to families that make more than four times the federal poverty level. That means you could qualify for help with premiums if you make up to $72,000 a year for an individual, and up to $150,000 a year for a family of four.

Disclosure: Health Access contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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