Around 11,000 individuals in San Luis Obispo County, from primarily the North and South districts, are enrolling today in individual medical coverage approaches through Covered California, County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said Wednesday.

Before Covered California was set up in 2014, around 43,000 individuals, or 16 percent of the province’s aggregate populace, were uninsured. Today, that figure is down to 10 percent, Borenstein said.

“We have made a tremendous imprint in that 43,000 number,” she said.

Borenstein’s message was given during a morning occasion which was focused towards advancing Covered California at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton. The state’s exchange official executive visited there as part of a 38-city tour in California to tell people in general that open enrollment has begun for 2016. The occasion pulled in dozens of participants.

Morro Bay inhabitant Nate Hedges is among the 11,000 area occupants who have purchased an individual medical coverage plan through Covered California. Additionally an affirmed Covered California enrollment advocate; Hedges had a speach at the occasion.

“My family and I have had Covered California since the first enrollment, and we’ve profited from having access to incredible specialists,” Hedges said. “I remember awhile back when we missed a meeting with one specialist in San Luis Obispo. So I grabbed the telephone and made two calls and was able to locate a superb specialist right here and that worked out extremely well for us.”

As a certified enrollment councilmen, Hedges said he’s been able to assist others by them signing up for a health plan. He was also able to explain to them the benefits of premium assistance and how it will cut down costs for their insurance! Around 90 percent of the 1.3 million Californians enrolling in a health plan through Covered California this year were able to get some form of premium assistance.

Hedges noticed that under the government Affordable Care Act, nobody can be denied health coverage for a previous condition. Before the new health act became law, numerous individuals with chronic conditions, for example, diabetes, were denied the coverage needed and had to pay excessive sums for medical coverage. Today, that is not the situation, “with a large portion of them paying under $100 a month (for month to month premiums), it’s simply mind boggling,” he said.

Open enrollment to purchase a 2016 health plan through Covered California began Nov. 1st and proceeds through January 31st.

San Luis Obispo County occupants can look and choose from three health insurance providers. Individuals can view and compare plan prices on the Covered California site and by calling it’s info telephone line, or through councilors and agents verified by Covered California to help individuals for nothing out of pocket. In San Luis Obispo County, around 150 individual insurance agents and six group offices have been certified.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee talked at Wednesday’s occasion.

Lee said that the current year’s tour serves two purposes: ensuring Californians realize that government assistance exists to cover premiums and to convey that plans offered through Covered California offer buyers nearby referral access to big name medicinal suppliers, for example, Stanford and Cedars-Sinai medical centers.

“Twin Cities is a great hospital, but in the event that you have the worst conceivable condition, you will have access to … the best physicians in the world,” Lee said.

Lee said Covered California upgraded its site this year to better highlight the out-of-pocket expenses of the various health plans. For instance, in its “shop and compare” tab on their website, entering an individuals yearly salary, age, and zip code will display information in regards to the various health plans available as well as the cost breakdowns and amount of premium assistance given by the state.

The normal premium expense for an individual with a health plan is about $600 a month, yet premium assistance can reduce the out-of-pocket expense for some purchasers to $150 every month and as low as $50 if you fall in within that income bracket. In earlier years, the site didn’t clarify forthright that the vast majority of that $600 expense would be covered by this state assistance, which may have shown why the project lost some sign-ups.

“Individuals simply had sticker shock and clicked away,” Lee said. “Now we’ve been beating it into people by saying that the premium assistance does exist.