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Covered California Launches Special-Enrollment Period till Oct. 31

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Covered California’s annual open-enrollment period may be over, but if you are still uninsured, you may be able to get financial assistance to help you purchase health care coverage.

Between now and Oct. 31, those who are eligible can sign up for coverage through Covered California’s special-enrollment period, as long as they do so within 60 days of a qualifying life event. The following circumstances are among the more common reasons individuals become eligible for special enrollment:

  • They lose their health coverage because they have lost or changed jobs.
  • They get married or enter a domestic partnership.
  • They have a baby, adopt a child or place a child for adoption or in foster care.
  • They move and gain access to new Covered California health insurance plans that were not available where they previously lived.
  • They become a citizen, a U.S. national or a lawfully present individual.

If you qualify under any of these conditions, you are eligible to get health insurance coverage and join your fellow Californians in having one less thing to worry about.

Make sure you take advantage of the financial assistance available to you and your family. An analysis by Covered California shows that its households received an average of $5,300 per year in tax credits to help pay for the cost of their coverage in 2016.

Additionally, 12 percent of Covered California households receive more than $10,000 per year, and 16 percent of individuals receive more than $6,000 per year to help bring health coverage within reach.

Nearly half of all Covered California consumers, 49 percent, can get a Silver plan costing less than $100 per month. All of these consumers would benefit from financial assistance to lower their out-of-pocket expenses at various levels.

In fact, 195,000 people, or 17 percent of current Covered California enrollees, can visit their doctor for only a $5 copay and will have an annual deductible of only $75 for an individual and $150 for a family. (The deductible only applies to hospital care.)

Those enrolled in “Enhanced Silver” plans, get the the additional benefit of cost-sharing reductions that reduce their out-of-pocket expenses by an average of $1,500 per year.

More than half of all Covered California consumers receiving a tax credit, 59 percent, can get a Bronze plan for less than $10 per month. Bronze plans offer three visits to a primary care physician or specialist that are not subject to a deductible.

Californians have taken advantage of those savings. A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that California’s uninsured rate has fallen to a new record low of 7.1 percent, which is significantly lower than the 17 percent the CDC found in 2013.

Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said the exchange, which added 412,000 enrollees during the open-enrollment period that concluded on Jan. 31, is proud to be part of the effort that is helping millions of people get the coverage and care they need. Lee credited the expansion of Medi-Cal and the launch of a competitive state-based marketplace as the keys to empowering consumers and providing quality and value.

Prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, California’s uninsured rate for all ages was higher than the national average: 17 percent compared to 14.4 percent. Since that time, California has fallen below the national average and is dropping at a significantly faster pace.

The CDC says the difference between the two rates was one percentage point at the end of 2015. The difference between the two rates has now increased to 1.7 percentage points: 7.1 percent of California residents are uninsured compared to 8.8 percent nationally.

For more information on special-enrollment rules, click here.

Community

Oakland Native Serves in Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ of Submarine Technology

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

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Justin Ziegler

An Oakland native is serving aboard USS Florida, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Fireman Justin Zeigler, a 2008 Life Academy High School graduate and 2017 University of California, Los Angeles graduate, joined the Navy one year ago.

“I joined the Navy to be a part of something new and completely outside of what I had been exposed to,” said Zeigler. “I really wanted to challenge myself. and I feel the core values of the Navy represent what I strive for.”

Today, Zeigler serves as a machinist’s mate whose responsibilities include working on nuclear propulsion machinery.
According to Zeigler, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Oakland.

“I learned resilience from my hometown,” said Zeigler. “I think that’s been a part of my life and childhood. It’s what’s keeping me going while serving in the Navy.”

Known as America’s “Silent Service,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).

As a member of the submarine force, Zeigler is part of a rich 121-year history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.
Serving in the Navy means Zeigler is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The submarine force is always out there ready to strike,” said Zeigler.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

As Zeigler and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means being a part of something more than myself,” added Zeigler. “I’m committing to my team, always striving to be better and bringing more to the table.”

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Community

East Bay Area Section of NCNW: 70th Anniversary

Knowledge is Power

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East Bay Area Section of NCNW: 70th Anniversary Flyer

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Events

Ella Baker Center Turns 25

Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

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Michelle Alexander/Photo via pbs.org

Alicia Garza

Co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Alicia Garza and Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author of “The New Jim Crow,” will join youth justice leader Xochtil Larios to discuss a collective vision for liberation at the Ella Baker Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27.

After 25 years of working to empower Black and Brown communities and fighting for a world without prisons and policing, the event will seek to inspire organizers, community members and changemakers to reflect on past victories in the movement for social justice and imagine how to continue moving toward a world based on justice.

The event will include entertainment by musicians, poets as well as comments by founders of the Ella Baker Center, Dianna Frappier and Van Jones. Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

The in-person event will be held outdoors and available to vaccinated guests only. 

To RSVP for the virtual event, please email ashley@ellabakercenter.org by Oct. 14 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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