News Release| Covered California; Cal State L.A.

Cal State L.A. begins outreach, education on new affordable health care system

$1.25M Covered California grant helps deliver information on
new coverage options starting in 2014 to the CSU’s 23 campuses

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Sept. 25, 2013 – The Department of Public Health at California State University, Los Angeles is developing outreach and education programs regarding how Californians may access and benefit from the new state health insurance exchange, Covered California, under the Affordable Care Act, launching in 2014.

Funded by a Covered California™ grant, totaling $1.25 million, Cal State L.A. is working in collaboration with Covered California and the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office to reach out to all 23 CSU campuses. Enrollment in the new system will open Tuesday, Oct. 1.  The project, known as the Health Insurance Education Project, will have more than 30 students working on 15 CSU campuses. 

At CSULA, two campus coordinators have started introducing the new health care system at incoming freshmen and transfer students orientations, faculty gatherings, campus forums/fairs, and student events. They will also develop email and web-based outreach, student welcome packets, and informational materials.

“The purpose of the project is to educate CSU students and their families about health reform and the insurance options it will offer them, and then assist them in enrolling in the new system if they choose to do so,” said Walter Zelman, chair of CSULA’s Department of Public Health and the grant’s principal investigator.

An estimated 75 percent of CSU students have incomes that might qualify them and their families for the expanding Medi-Cal program, or for subsidies when enrolling in Covered California.

“Under the new law, these individuals may be eligible either for Medi-Cal or for government subsidies when they purchase insurance through Covered California,” explained Zelman. “Even for those students who are not eligible for subsidies, many can purchase insurance through Covered California, where they should have more choices, and a guaranteed level of care, than in the current system -- and very possibly a lower health insurance premium.”

A memo from CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White was sent out on Sept. 18 encouraging all CSU presidents to support this system-wide effort to inform all CSU students and their families regarding the affordable healthcare options. To view a video message from Chancellor White and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Herb Schultz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z0aPOQ__KM

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About Covered California: Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California 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 will help individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that will be 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 will be able to 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 www.CoveredCA.com.

Working for Californiaa since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 230,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. Visit www.calstatela.edu