California’s health insurance exchange added 418,052 new enrollees in 2020, a 41% increase from last year, the exchange announced yesterday. The state this year offered additional financial help to consumers purchasing coverage through the exchange, extending subsidies to individuals and families earning up to 600% of the federal poverty level. The state also reinstated the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance mandate, requiring residents who go without coverage to pay a penalty unless they qualify for a hardship or other exemption. In addition, the state extended its open enrollment period to Jan. 31, compared with Jan. 15 last year and Dec. 15 for the federally facilitated exchange. “The new enrollment that occurs during each year’s open-enrollment period is vital to getting more people covered and keeping costs down by enrolling a healthy risk mix,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee. “This dramatic rebound in new enrollment shows how effective state policies can make quality coverage more affordable and encourage people to get covered.”

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