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Fewer People Choosing Covered California

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Sacramento, CA — The head of the state’s health insurance exchange is blaming recent federal actions for a decline in the number of people signing up through Covered California.

The program was implemented in the state following the passage of the federal Affordable Care Act. This year there are 1,513,883 consumers signed up, as opposed to 1,521,524 a year ago. It equates to a decline of 0.5%.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee says the bigger concern is that the number of new customers fell from 388,000 last year to 296,000 this year, a 23.7-percent drop.

He states, “The federal removal of the individual mandate penalty appears to have had a substantial impact on the number of new customers signing up for coverage.”

The Congress last year eliminated the mandate that everyone have health insurance or face a fine. Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed reinstating it in California along with correlating state subsidies.

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