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Today is the first day of an exciting opportunity! This morning, Covered California officially began its six-month open enrollment period and approximately 2.7 million Californians are now able to enroll in affordable health coverage.

This is the most sweeping coverage expansion in generations, and our state's communities of color have the most to gain. Fully two-thirds of the newly eligible come from these communities, and over a million speak English less than very well.

We at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) have worked closely with Covered California to make sure that their materials and services will be in languages that consumers understand. The Covered California website is available in both English and Spanish, with translated fact sheets available in 13 languages. There are dedicated 800 numbers for non-English speakers to call to get help in their language. The paper enrollment application is also available in 12 languages. In addition, interpretation services are available in any language through Covered California’s toll-free number, 1-800-300-1506.

This is truly a special time in our state and country’s history. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, millions of people have experienced the security of being able to get health insurance, and now in California, millions more will be able to enroll in coverage through Covered California.

We live in a country that is steadily moving toward a future in which every resident has a right to get the health care they need to prosper and thrive. Today, in California, we are getting a glimpse of what that future looks like.

Ellen Wu is CPEHN's Executive Director.


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