Covered California Health Mixer: Health Plans Cheaper Than Ever, Easier to Enroll

Thank you for attending this breakout session this session is filled with powerful information to help improve your health and empower you radio free 102.3 kj lh we are you well ladies you've been enjoying yourselves i hope clicking around navigating through on

It's our 21st annual our big kj lh women's health expo and we are virtual again this year again our theme for this year is your health through the lens of covid and everybody has been affected by covet in some way or another and these beautiful ladies i'm so excited to be back with them because.

They are going to tell us the importance of why it's so so very very important to have insurance during this time with this crazy pandemic and affordable insurance not just insurance but affordable insurance and quality health care coverage has never been more.

Important especially in communities of color as we are battling covet for many years a trusted source for getting good health insurance and health care has been with covered california and i know that because i've seen these ladies faces over the years with us and you guys have been a true partner.

With us and helping make sure the family uh has been really taken care of and it's a state agency with staff established under the affordable care act everybody knows obamacare right right so everybody knows obama thank you president obama so today our panel we're going to talk.

About some valuable information that you need to know um and some of this stuff you've heard us talk about it before but you really have to keep it in mind as you go along through with everything that's happening everything in your mind that's happening with covet it's great to have you ladies come and.

Share with us so thank you for being here okay so let me give some names again okay so reacquaint you with our ladies uh this is lady clawdy kitty bustamante hello hi she is covered california's field manager in southern california and we thank her for being here with us sheri johnson hey sheri.

She's a very active certified insurance agent with covered california who's there in pasadena one of my favorite cities of pasadena and then my girl margo l thomas she is the ceo of crenshaw health partners inc in l.a haiti lady margot hello there look this is like a little girl's tee right like you know they spin around.

Talking girl power we didn't have the tea or the little wine or something restrictions lifted yeah yes yes so ladies you're at home and you're clicked in and you're tuned in and we're excited because we really have some good stuff to talk about a lot of.

Great resources and claudia i would love to start with you um because everybody right now is talking about uh why it's so important for you know us to have insurance but in particularly people of color african-americans we need it.

Tell them why well as we speak you know hospitals and clinics throughout the state are full of patients with covered 19. and most of the patients that are hospitalized are african americans latinos and other people of color um so having good health coverage is extremely critical even.

Now um especially to help you get well if you do get the coping virus because as we know we are still in a fair a pandemic situation this goes without saying if you have other health problems that need to be addressed like diabetes obesity high blood pressure um heart disease and asthma for example.

Well you know everybody's excited well president biden came through came through uh but not just that but some landmark legislation that he signed into law right so we're talking about the american rescue plan yeah which is actually.

Really great news for health care you know this law basically expands upon the federal i always mess that up the federal affordable care act also known as obamacare it makes having quality and brand name insurance more affordable than ever before.

Regardless of a person's income and as i mentioned earlier having good health coverage is so important right now especially in this age of covert 19. there are three important go ahead are they you say something i started saying there are three important categories and.

About 2.5 million californians who can benefit from the new health care provisions of the american rescue plan right so these three categories are people who are currently uninsured and are eligible for the new financial health through covered california with many qualifying for even a dollar.

Health plan so basically they can they can get a health plan for a dollar people who are currently insured in the california health plan and are now automatically eligible for more financial health and then the third category are people who are currently having health.

Insurance covered directly through a health insurance company but they are also now eligible for covered california financial help for the first time and they can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars by switching to a covered california plan now see i love to hear that and that's.

Where i almost interrupt you before you got everything out i was like when will the money kick in women with savings a lot of this a lot of the savings are going to kick in at the first of may may 1st um so if you have a covered california health plan um chances are you you'll find that your.

Health plan costs are going to be reduced right and if you do not have a covered california plan um there'll be a lot more people who will have an opportunity to to qualify for covered california now that hadn't in the past as well okay now claudia.

Though what are the major benefits for having covered california plans well the good news is that all covered california health plans cover all covet 19 vaccinations and testing at no charge and also any medical treatment necessary.

That someone may need due to covet 19 will be covered at no charge or minimal co-payments in addition all california health plans must offer essential health benefits which is part of the question that you just asked that range from maternity care and hospitalizations to prevent the.

Preventative and mental health care free preventative health care includes annual checkups with your doctor all immunizations mammograms and screenings for diabetes cancer and high blood pressure all right i tell you what those are all things that are needed.

And covered california has you covered well you know in color california we're really committed to health equity and to that end we want to make sure that african americans and other people of color know that all the great benefits are available to them regardless of income level.

And that's really good because guys when the pandemic came everybody's afraid everybody's staying at home they're not going to their doctor's performance even when they don't feel well they weren't going to there to get their appointments and it's great that they can get this coverage that they may or may not have.

Had before and get in and get those things done um the mental health is a huge thing with everybody going through it right now hi sherry right it's so huge right now and it's so necessary it's nearly impossible for people to access those benefits on their own where.

The doctors charge 250 per 45 minutes session if you have coverage it is covered for your co-payment if you have medi-cal and i really want people to start using medi-cal because if you're eligible for it there are benefits in it for you they also will provide you with.

Therapy sherry now you're in the trenches you're getting the people coming in you too margo so we're going to get to you too um but you're getting the people coming in and we are everybody's kind of disheveled everybody's just trying to figure their way out with this.

Some people have very a lot less income that they had before or maybe they were low income already um people don't have jobs they lost their jobs can they still get coverage can they still get this coverage there is something out there for every single person.

The easiest way to get in touch with us is to call the 800 number 800-830-1700 that's 800-830-1706 or click up there on the banner on the website i've been hearing about this website you guys have you have improved it where folks can get around and navigate a whole lot better.

And i love the fact that you just love us so much that you guys are going to have banners all over the website or we can click and get to you easy just like you said right up here ladies look right up right there okay so what is the website give us the website uh you're gonna be right on our website.

On it'll be on click it it'll take you right through to cover california shopping compare tool where you can register for your an account and get enrolled there or give us a call if you don't know exactly where you fit where things are how.

They're going to work give us a call so that you can have the peace of mind moving forward as to what's going to happen with your enrollment so okay so let's say you don't have interest because people always think like nothing is going to happen to me i never.

Get sick i do this they talk boy i tell you people come to me and tell me what kind of herbs and concoctions they take nothing's gonna happen to them so i don't need insurance but why is it so important that we do have issues what will happen if you don't have insurance and you.

And you get sick i have a perfect candidate of what happened i had someone trying to call to enroll back in december because his mom was going you need to call and get covered and he called me but he never completed his application but he did call me on march 29th after he tore his.

Achilles tendon went to the emergency room and they said you have to have surgery in this scenario that he makes more money than is eligible for medi-cal and in that scenario that's his hospital bill that he has to pay for the emergency room without insurance.

Coverage it we haven't gotten the bill yet i'm estimating with the testing and everything that he did it would probably be over three thousand dollars and so that's his three thousand dollar bill luckily because of the affordable care act he is was able to buy a plan the next.

Day and pay for it and be covered on april 1st even though this happened to him on march 29th because there is no pre-existing condition and so he has scheduled his surgery and he will have surgery and it will be covered under his health plan if he was under the medical threshold in.

The hospital the social worker is able to grant emergency medical to if your income qualified so if something happens to you you can get covered immediately and i urge everybody to get covered beforehand because nothing beats the peace of mind that you.

Get when you already have coverage boy let me tell you he is lucky did he luck out i heard him say thank you president obama right listen to your mom you can't even say good luck that's god luck okay like good luck i'm like oh give me god i need god this right yes.

Now there are still some penalties right if you don't have insurance they're still fantastic yes there are penalties so for an individual an adult is 750 and that's for california specifically 750 per adult and 325 for each dependent um a household could easily pay 2250.

For the coverage but that's the minimum you actually have to pay that number or 2.5 of your household adjusted gross income whichever is higher oh my goodness so if you're so if you're a cowboy renegade ago we don't need insurance my family is healthy we're going kayaking we're going swimming we're going to do.

All of these things and you don't need your insurance and you were healthy and didn't have an accident that's great but if you make a hundred thousand dollars a year you will pay 2.5 percent of the hundred thousand dollars in penalty wow wow because let me tell you the.

Government is going to get the oh i'm just going to get his uncle sam i'm going to say i'm just going to guess yeah now no how do you enroll in covered california in medical how do you how does one do that because call me period but you know they always ask me how how.

Call call us if you're unable to navigate through the website and lots of people have uh trouble doing so it's not a problem that's why margo and i are here give us a call at 800-830-1706 and we will help you assess where you're going to fit into the puzzle what you're eligible for.

And we will let you know what you need all you need to do is give us your income information so that we can assess and that is your not last year people say you want to give your taxes from last year no last year was crazy nobody knows what's going to happen this.

Year last year was uh extraordinary in itself and so what we want to know is how much do you earn right now monthly how much do the people that you file on your taxes earn in your household collectively um if your grandma lives with you and you don't file taxes with her we don't.

Need her information we just need the future we don't need to know about grandma right now we only need to know about the people that you file on your taxes with how much money do you collectively earn together and we need one of you to prove that you live in california by giving us your california id.

And be and the reason why we do that is because our state exchange is so awesome covered california is so awesome that people who live nearby want to come and get enrolled you have to be a resident of california in order to enroll in our plan well i'll tell you ladies you're listening i told.

You we have the best of the best in here i'm giving you the information now let me go to my girl margot l thomas cause this one here boy she always gives me something to do i'm like what he's the ceo of crenshaw health partners inc here in l.a girl it's good to see you it's good to see you too.

Let me tell you so when we were talking and sherry even tapped in on it like you know what i was saying like people always come how do you do it how do you do it and i've talked about even with seniors having to try to figure out how to get around and navigate this if they don't have someone to advocate for.

Them it is a disaster i feel so bad when i see seniors you know i go and pick up my mother's medications and stuff and i see them struggling to try to figure out what coverage they have and what they don't have but you guys have a program that navigator program.

Girl bless your hearts you guys are angels angels tell us about that program well you know the navigator program is a mandated program of the affordable care act so that's a that's a wonderful program because we are here as sherry has stated we are here to.

Actually assist people who who may not be able to navigate using the term through the computer system or through the health care system to figure out what they qualify for what provider they should go to how should they go about doing this what are their essential benefits we can answer those questions we can.

Also as a navigator as a part of the program or let me mention that there's several dozen um navigators throughout the state of california so it's not just crenshaw health partners inc that's a navigator but there are others.

In other parts of the um state but as a navigator though we are here to actually provide free assistance to help them through the whole process well let me tell you it is so necessary and needed because i'm trying to help my mother and i'm confused i'm like okay i need to.

Call margaret now you guys over at the ball hill crenshaw plaza are you guys back in there yet with everything that happened in this covent are you guys backing up operating yes um the mall was closed therefore we were closed we are on the.

Second floor inside of the baldwin hills crenshaw mall or plaza i should say and um we are open as the mall is open our hours are reduced um but we're still functioning we receive phone calls there are people that can walk in um but when they come to us.

Just as when they come to the mall they have to have on a mask they must wear a mask that's mandatory and then they can rest assured that inside of our office we have the protective equipment so that there are the death shields and you know some of my certified enrollment.

Counselors may be wearing gloves and they have on their mask as well and shields so i got the ppp yes we've got the ppe going on and we want to make sure that everybody is safe um in spite of the covet so people can come into our office or they can call us and we can enroll.

Them on by the phone because covered california understands and are working with us regarding um covet and all of the restrictions that we have and we can also enroll people virtually for those that want to go that route as well so the work is still going on and the mall.

Is open as we are oh good now give me your number margo is it the same number how can we get with you well it is and and i've been instructed to ensure that everyone goes through uh kglh website to call us a sherry and i which is 800.830.1706. all right family so you hear what they're saying if you go through kjlh.

You might as well go through your family to get to your family okay so best way to do it call six 800-830-1736 seven zero six yes here we go see now see family how i have to have these ladies backing me up with the right information say it again margot though give it to me again.

Eight zero zero eight three zero one seven zero six got it got it got it now margo i know you are just rip rearing to go and get you guys were always in the community to advance doing this doing that and you know covert shut it down so i know you're just itching to get back out there but the.

One thing i have realized with covet and everybody else everyone is getting creative creative on how they're getting their messages out how they're getting their brands out what are you guys doing over there well there's a number of things um yes our ability to host and to participate.

In community events has have really been narrowed down tremendously however there are still some going on um there were there were vaccinations taking place at the mall um but that's on pause because those vaccinations were the johnson johnson okay okay okay um hopefully.

We will be able to be there with a table with a covered california table to answer questions and to let people know what they can do in terms of enrollment and we can guide them up to our office once this resumes and hopefully it will resume soon um also we have participated in.

Um we've been collaborating with other organizations so we've been participating in the food giveaways um so so we may have flyers that are put into the bags but we also have a small table set up with a covered california tablecloth um to again answer questions um to.

And guide people in terms of what they need to do in order to enroll okay so what can we do as communities of color to help encourage each other to get that insurance what would you say we need to collaborate we need to continue to collaborate we have been collaborating and we need to continue to.

Do that and when i say collaborate i'm talking about working with the churches working with the local schools um and the faith-based and community-based organizations which is what we've been doing but it needs to continue.

And we need to pool our resources to make sure that we are focused on improving the health of our communities that's the one thing that i can think of yeah well you know ladies i could sit and talk with you guys all day because it's like getting together with my.

Girlfriends and just sitting down and talking healthcare coverage and how we can get the word out i hope the ladies that are watching are really enjoying it as well and getting this information so they can take that back into their families to their churches.

And share that everyone it may sound confusing with getting health care coverage but covered california makes it easy for you and all you got to do is reach out so i want to give you guys each a chance to kind of just share your last final thoughts before everyone gets a clicking again and.

Hidden rewind to get the information and the number uh lane claudia kit kitty bustamante what you gotta say sis well i i gotta say that covered california is really committed at spread um to spread the word and make sure that people understand that they have access to.

Health care and that we are we are really committed to health equity and then at the end we want to make sure that all african americans and other people of color right have access to great benefits that a lot of these health plans offer and that um regardless of income levels so.

Yeah definitely um like margo said you know collaboration is key and our goal and our efforts are are in collaborating with other communities of color and organizations faith-based etc um throughout the year and and onward well we thank you for that miss sharon davis johnson.

Uh i want everyone to know that insurance is a financial tool and you may not want insurance but if something happens to you you've lost the ability to use that tool to protect yourself to protect your health to protect your financial well-being and to protect your family and so we.

Really need to get covered so that we can make sure that we're able to look after ourselves financially and wholly physically and that means mind body and soul and there are programs within the health insurance plans that everyone needs to access just for.

Self-care and so go talk to a therapist you can go to physical therapy if you're not feeling well but the only thing standing between us and that american dream that's been elusive to communities of color is to be able to handle ourselves financially.

And this is a tool that we have access to for as little as one dollar in so many cases for one dollar yeah a dollar you can free your mind margo and i are here to help you free of charge we are resources in the community.

If we don't have an answer for you for whatever it is that you need we will find a place for you to get that answer i would like to say that there is a process for grievances and appeals and those are the things that some people run into issues with and they're not.

Able to access the care that they need there's a process that you can go through to get you what you need everything is generically written with an icd-10 code on it and the insurance company doesn't know what you need specifically there's a language.

That is spoken i'm a retired nurse and i will assist people in going through that process i was a former case manager and so i can help you get through the grievance and appeals to get what you need the drug that may not have been covered under your insurance plan there's a process in which we can go.

Through to get that drug covered under your plan at a in network costs i love it i love it lady margot thomas yes well you know the piggyback on what sherry has just said health as well i mean if you don't have your wealth what else do you have excuse me if you don't have your health what else do you have right.

Um and even more importantly i want to thank kglh you a day for all the work that you guys are doing continuously and thank you for inviting us to participate in this wonderful health expo um so um let's let's all band together and be sure that we are taking care of.

Ourselves and each other i love it i love it let me tell you ladies i i cannot thank you enough because every time we call up on you to give information wisdom and resources to the family you're always available i gotta give a shout out to my girl angie because she.

Makes sure everything comes together with cover california we certainly love her and of course ladies you that are listening i hope you're able to get this information use it to the best you can in your lives with your families and just remember cover california has you covered all right they have you.

Covered ladies has been awesome thank you so much for joining me now is it time for wine now time for wine and if i if i may plug plug that 1-800-830-1706 number like thank you so much thank you today with off the line that's 1-800.

1706. ladies if you're watching write the number down before you get to the wine it's 800-830-1706 and if you've already gotten into the wine we're going to put it up so you can come back and watch this again later all right enjoy the rest good thank you so much.

Today thank you thank you thank you thank you the radio free 102.3 kjlh 21st annual women's health expo brought you virtually by the city of long beach and fresno county black infant health program

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