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Covered California calling for continuation of American Rescue Plan to keep 2 million Americans insured

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The American Rescue plan helped millions of Americans get health insurance. Covered California, California’s state-run healthcare marketplace, executive director, Peter Lee, said 4.5 million more Americans signed up for coverage in 2022 than in 2021.

And 160 thousand California.

Lee pointed to the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus package from the White House last year, as the reason for the increase.

He said the American Rescue Plan made healthcare more affordable, and when healthcare is more affordable, healthier people signup for coverage.

According to Covered California data, the American Rescue Plan lowed healthcare premiums by 20% in California and 23% nationally.

However, if federal aid stops, Lee predicts 2 million Americans would let their healthcare lapse.

He also predicts 1 million low-income Californians would see their healthcare premiums double.

Lee said when premiums go up, lower-income healthier people gamble with their health coverage and pull out of the system. Fewer healthier people in the system means premiums will go up for everyone left. 

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, about 47% of Californians and 49% of Americans get their healthcare through their employer.

NewsChannel 3-12 asked Covered California what are the benefits of getting healthcare through their employer and how they plan to prevent a future loss of health insurance during massive work layoffs.

Covered California is expected to answer those questions for the evening newscast.

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.


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