News Release

Date Posted

Covered California Enrollment Surges in Los Angeles County to More Than 241,000; Interest in Medi-Cal Remains High

With Deadline Approaching, Grassroots Campaign, Community Leaders Urge Consumers to Enroll Now

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced today that from Oct. 1, 2013, to Feb. 28, 2014, 241,312 consumers in Los Angeles County enrolled in subsidized and unsubsidized Covered California health insurance plans. The new total represents a 22 percent increase from the 198,158 enrollments recorded through Jan. 31. An additional 366,353 county residents have been determined likely eligible for Medi-Cal.

The five-month Covered California total represents 136 percent of the base projection of 177,602 enrollments the agency estimated for the county during the entire six-month enrollment period, which ends March 31 (see the table attached). Enrollment in Medi-Cal is year round.

“We’re making solid gains in Los Angeles County, as the word is spreading and consumers are taking advantage of the great opportunity to protect themselves and their families,” Covered California Executive 

Director Peter V. Lee said. “A lot of credit goes to our partners and community leaders, respected and trusted members of their communities who’ve encouraged people to sign up.

“But we’re not done. Tens of thousands of consumers are still eligible for quality, affordable insurance in our exchange, and we want to get them enrolled before March 31.”
A targeted on-the-ground strategy is under way in collaboration with Covered California’s community partners to create face-to-face opportunities for enrollment, particularly in Latino communities.
Covered California enlisted the help of iconic labor leader Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, to produce radio spots and videos available on YouTube, in English and Spanish, calling on Latinos to sign up for insurance. Huerta also has appeared at local events in Los Angeles and Stockton in recent weeks to help spread the word about enrollment.

While the last day of enrollment for Covered California health insurance plans is March 31, the exchange is calling on consumers to sign up as quickly as possible to avoid the expected last-minute rush of applications that could slow the online experience.

For the five-month period ending Feb. 28, 880,082 consumers enrolled in plans statewide. The total increased to 923,832 through March 9. Covered California also announced on Monday that it had enrolled more than 1 million consumers as of March 14.

Additionally, almost 1.5 million individuals statewide have been enrolled in Medi-Cal through Feb. 28. This includes individuals who applied through the Covered California Web portal and county human service agencies, as well as approximately 650,000 former Low Income Health Program (LIHP) members transitioned to Medi-Cal by DHCS and 134,000 individuals who applied through the state’s Express Lane program.

Los Angeles County, which encompasses Covered California pricing regions 15 and 16, represents 27 percent of the 880,082 consumers enrolled in health insurance plans through Feb. 28. The county makes up 31 percent of those eligible statewide to enroll in the Covered California health insurance marketplace. For Medi-Cal, the 366,353 likely eligible consumers in Los Angeles County represent 32 percent of all individuals deemed likely eligible for enrollment.

Other highlights for Los Angeles County in Covered California enrollment figures:
  •  A total of 207,586 enrollees, or 86 percent, are eligible for financial subsidies.
  • A total of 223,735 consumers, or 93 percent, chose one of the four health insurance carriers that have traditionally been the largest in the individual market: Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross of California, Kaiser Permanente and Health Net.
  •  For the individuals who were eligible for subsidies, the great majority (71 percent) selected the Silver level of benefits, which is the level at which the federal premium assistance is targeted. Those who are not eligible for subsidies were more likely to buy across the spectrum of levels of coverage.

The figures on enrollment do not reflect whether individuals have paid their premiums or started coverage. This information will be available in future reporting.

Lee also reminded consumers of the many paths they can take to enroll in Covered California health insurance plans and in Medi-Cal, including meeting in person with thousands of trained Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and county eligibility workers, who can provide assistance with completing applications. Spanish-language assistance is available online at
Both the English and Spanish Covered California websites can locate the nearest person who can provide assistance. Additionally, self-enrollment is available online, and enrollment can be completed over the phone by calling Covered California’s Service Center at (800) 300-1506.

Tables and graphics showing enrollment by metal tier and health insurance plan in all regions are available online at and

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit

About the Department of Health Care Services
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) works to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians. DHCS provides health care services for approximately 9.4 million Californians through Medi-Cal, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use treatment services and long-term services and supports. This is accomplished through an investment of approximately $70 billion annually in public funds for the care of low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors and persons with disabilities. DHCS focuses on delivering quality, effective services primarily through coordinated systems of care provided by 21 Medi-Cal managed care plans located in all of California’s 58 counties. For more information about DHCS, please visit

Total Five-Month Enrollment Compared
with Six-Month Base Projection

Base Projection*
for 3/31/2014
Total Enrolled
(with plan selection)
on 2/28/2014
Base Projection
for 3/31/14
as of 2/28/2014
(% of 3/31/14
base projection)
Geographic Regions
Greater Bay Area
Central Coast
Los Angeles
Specific Counties
San Diego
San Bernardino
*Covered California projections based on available information, including CalSIM 1.8 data.