Counselor assisting with Covered California enrollment. Photo by staff.
Counselor assisting with Covered California enrollment. Photo by staff.

County Offers Support to Residents with Covered California Enrollment

Author: Public Health Department and Department of Social Services
Date: Friday, November 3, 2017 11:35 AM

County staff experts offer free, unbiased help comparing plans and signing up for insurance.


The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services and Public Health Department remind residents that County specialists are available to provide free, unbiased help finding health insurance and signing up through Covered California. This year's open enrollment period for Covered California started on November 1, 2017 and continues through January 31, 2018.

Covered California is the state health care marketplace for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Through Covered California, residents can enroll in health care coverage from private insurers and may qualify for discounted rates based on income. 

While public dialogue at the national level has focused on potential changes to the health care marketplace and a shorter open enrollment period at the federal level, state and local officials emphasize that Covered California continues to offer coverage—including discounted rates for those who qualify.

At the federal level, Healthcare.gov has advertised that its open enrollment period ends on December 15. However, California is keeping its enrollment period open until January 31, 2018. Residents in SLO County and across the state may sign up through the end of January. Those who would like their insurance coverage to begin on January 1 will still need to sign up by December 15.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has staff available in all areas of the County to assist residents with open enrollment needs. County residents can visit the local office, or call 800-834-3002 to be connected with someone to assist them. DSS offices are located:

  • Arroyo Grande: 1086 Grand Avenue, 805-474-2000
  • Atascadero: 9415 El Camino Real, 805-461-6000
  • Morro Bay: 600 Quintana Road, 805-772-6405
  • Nipomo: 681 W. Tefft Street, Suite 1, 805-931-1800
  • Paso Robles: 406 Spring Street, 805-237-3110
  • San Luis Obispo: 3433 S. Higuera Street, 800-834-3002

DSS staff also evaluate applicants and enroll eligible individuals and families in Medi-Cal year-round.

The Public Health Department also has a Covered California Certified Enrollment Counselor on staff who is available to support residents with open enrollment in both English and Spanish. This counselor is also available to evaluate residents with urgent medical needs to determine if they may qualify for short-term assistance through the County's Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP).

The counselor is available by appointment at Public Health clinics in Grover Beach (Thursday mornings) and Paso Robles (Wednesday afternoons), and by appointment or drop-in at the Health Agency campus in San Luis Obispo. This counselor also serves as a ready resource for residents who receive services through the County's Public Health and Behavioral Health programs. For more information or to make an appointment, call 805-781-4838.

On Nov. 3, the Covered California team will stop in San Luis Obispo as part its statewide bus tour and will host a special event to raise awareness of open enrollment and available support:

  • When: Friday, November 3, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
  • Where: County of San Luis Obispo Courthouse, 1050 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo

For more information about Covered California, visit www.coveredca.com.