Only 4 Weeks Left on Covered California Open Enrollment

Suzanne Potter | California News Service

With the Omicron variant spreading like wildfire, many people without health insurance are searching for options – and may find them on the Covered California marketplace.

The open enrollment period runs through January 31. James Scullary, spokesperson with Covered California, said the uninsured risk getting stuck with huge medical bills if they end up having to go to the hospital.

“Hospitalizations,” said Scullary, “particularly those that require Intensive Care Unit treatment, can be incredibly expensive, and average more than $127,000 dollars per visit.”

The bill for someone with COVID who only needs outpatient care – commonly the fully-vaccinated – would average just over $1,300. And much of that would be covered by insurance, according to the nonprofit group FAIR Health.

The state estimates that 1.1 million uninsured Californians are eligible for free or very-low-cost coverage via Covered California or Medi-Cal. Scullary said the cost varies by zip code, income, and how many people in the household need to be covered.

“The savings and the financial help that is now available through the American Rescue Plan is so significant, that if you checked a year ago, the entire thing is different,” said Scullary. “Many people are paying less than $10 a month for comprehensive coverage from a name-brand plan that fits their needs best.”

He adds that 75% of people on Covered California are paying less than $100 a month for their brand-name health plan – like Anthem BlueCross, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, and Healthnet.

People can find the shop-and-compare tool on