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Covered California enrollment unavailable in some counties

Covered California enrollment unavailable in some counties

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Are there enough doctors in your county to serve people in your county newly insured by Covered California? In Santa Cruz County, we can't tell.

The reason is Covered California has declined to release enrollment figures for Santa Cruz County, citing HIPAA.  The agency has given the same answer to a reporter in Fresno County.

Ironically, the agency has released enrollment figures for Kern County and for San Mateo County. So it cannot be a technological impossibility.

The agency told me it does not have a record of Santa Cruz County enrollment and under the Public Records Act, does not have to create one.

Rather than releasing county enrollment data the agency has chosen to create a system of regions -- Santa Cruz County is grouped with Monterey County and San Benito County. But matching up enrollees in three counties against doctors in those counties does not make sense because few people will want to drive an hour to another county to see a doctor.

If this is an issue for you and your readers, let's talk. Perhaps by working together we can convince Covered California that releasing county enrollment data that is meaningful for the community is the right thing to do.

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