Covered California board refusing to release applicant numbers

Covered California is refusing to release the numbers on how many people have signed up, as well as quality ratings for insurance plans.
October 24, 2013 7:17:04 PM PDT
Covered California, the state's exchange under the Affordable Care Act, is refusing to release the numbers on how many people have signed up, as well as quality ratings for insurance plans being offered.

The Covered California board members announced late Thursday afternoon that it will not give out quality reports about insurance plans. In fact, Board Executive Director Peter Lee said Californians won't get those quality ratings until 2015.

The board has been under fire for the refusal to release quality ratings for health plans by several consumer groups who say uninsured Californians need that information to make decisions about what plans they will choose.

"Our real goal is to get insurers to compete for cost and quality and customer service, so we think having quality ratings available is a really important part of getting insurers to compete on quality and cost," Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright said.

It's estimated at least two million people are eligible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act in the state.

More than 125,000 people have already started the application process. But the board will not tell the public how many people have successfully completed the applications.

"You can understand California is a little bit different. We are a big, big state. We're looking to enroll more than five million people over the span of the program," Covered California spokesperson Lizelda Lopez said.

There are efforts to get the enrollment numbers up across the state including in the Capitol where the mayor plans to hold an event in mid-November called "Covered Sacramento."

Even though the board will not say how many people have been able to complete the sign up process, more than 2.2 million have visited Covered California's website since the roll out on October 1.

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