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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Open enrollment in CoveredCA health insurance marketplace begins today

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023   

If you do not have health insurance or if your employer-sponsored plan is too expensive, you may be in luck.

Open enrollment starts today for the state marketplace known as CoveredCA, the state health insurance marketplace. An estimated 1.3 million Californians are eligible for free Medi-Cal or a low-cost plan.

Jessica Altman, executive director of CoveredCA, the state health insurance marketplace, said subsidies make the plan affordable

"Ninety percent of the enrollees on CoveredCA receive financial assistance, two-thirds of whom have access to comprehensive health insurance coverage, for a cost of $10 or less per month."

This year premiums are going up by 9%, but many people will not feel the increase thanks to federal subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act, and the new California Enhanced Cost Sharing program, which lowers expenses for anyone making up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level, which works out to income of about $35,000 a year for an individual, or about $70,000 for a family of four.

Altman noted help is available to navigate the process.

"In addition to being able to visit us at CoveredCA.com, to call us on the phone, we do also have over 14,000 enrollment assisters in communities across the state, who speak numerous languages and are here to help," Altman emphasized. "Always free, always confidential for any Californian."

This year, income-eligible DACA recipients will be able to sign up for a plan on CoveredCA, thanks to a policy change by the Biden administration. The open enrollment period lasts through the end of January, but you must sign up by New Year's Eve in order for coverage to start on Jan. 1.


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The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

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