News Release

Date Posted

Covered California Spotlights Open Enrollment and Vital Care in Monterey County

Data from Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Show How Covered California Members Are Getting Critical Care at the Right Place at the Right Time

SALINAS, Calif. — Covered California’s 38-stop bus tour reached Monterey County on Thursday, stopping at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital to spotlight the care Covered California members have received and to encourage residents in the area to enroll in health care coverage during the historic third open-enrollment period.

“The most important part of Covered California is our members, and the data gathered from Salinas Valley Memorial indicate they are getting the best possible care available to them,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “Our hope now is that the uninsured residents will hear our message and learn about the importance of being covered.”

Lee was joined by hospital leadership, physicians and patients to underscore the care being delivered in Salinas.

“Our patients receive outstanding, quality care, regardless of their insurance status,” said Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System President and CEO Pete Delgado. “We are proud to partner with Covered California to ensure our community also has easy access to critical follow-up care and the preventative health and wellness services they need and deserve.”

Covered California is collecting data from hospitals statewide about the care being delivered to its members, some of whom have insurance for the first time as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

At Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, 1,939 Covered California members have received care, including:
  • 2,574 incidents of general outpatient care.
  • 893 treatments for broken bones and trauma.
  • 141 incidents of care for pneumonia, heart attacks, strokes and kidney infections.
  • 138 incidents of maternal health and childbirth.
  • 51 incidents of pediatric care (including in neonatal intensive care units).
  • 29 incidents of gastrointestinal and urological surgeries and Rx.

Covered California is spotlighting enrollment because an estimated 2.2 million uninsured Californians remain eligible to get help to make their insurance affordable by enrolling in either Covered California or Medi-Cal. An estimated 750,000 uninsured Californians could enroll through Covered California, including about 15,000 in Region 9, which includes Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.

UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California will be joining Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California and Health Net in 2016 as an option for consumers in Region 9. UnitedHealthcare is the largest single health carrier in the United States and offers telehealth and mobile apps to help its consumers get treatment, manage their health needs, and get estimates for specific treatments and procedures.

“At Covered California we’re expanding the choices available, which benefits not only our members, but also those who buy off the exchange in the individual market,” Lee said. “With Covered California’s purchasing power and the addition of UnitedHealthcare, it allows for more competition and makes more choices available to everyone looking for insurance.”

Those who need insurance can go to to learn about their options and find locations in their community where they can get free, confidential help enrolling.

This year, Covered California has more than 500 storefront locations statewide where individuals can get help enrolling — twice the number available at the start of last year’s open enrollment.

Open enrollment began on Nov. 1 and ends on Jan. 31.

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Healthcare System partners with MedAssist to provide free in-person and over-the-phone assistance to help individuals and families explore their health insurance options and secure the best insurance plan to meet their needs. For more information, please visit

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital contracts with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and will also contract with UnitedHealthcare for coverage in 2016.

More information on the Covered California patient data from Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is at

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. 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 about Covered California, please visit