Covered California Offers to Help Consumers Who Get Caught in Surge of Last-Minute Shoppers on Final Day of Open Enrollment
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced on Tuesday that it would give consumers who begin their enrollment application before midnight tonight three additional days to complete the process. The move comes after a surge of interest that saw more than 15,000 consumers sign up and select a plan on Monday.
“Covered California is still here for you, but you have to hurry,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “We know that thousands of people wait until the final day, and if that is you, Covered California will help you get across the finish line.”
Consumers who began their application before the end of Jan. 15 will have until midnight on Jan. 18 to complete the process with the help of a certified enroller such as a Certified Insurance Agent or service center representative, as well as community enrollment partners such as Certified Enrollment Counselors, Certified Application Counselors and Plan-Based Enrollers.
They can also visit Covered California’s website and sign up to have a certified enroller call them. Most calls are returned within 30 minutes and it is free and confidential.
Those who finish their application by Jan. 18 will have their health care coverage start on Feb 1.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged uninsured Californians to take action before open enrollment ends.
“An estimated 1.1 million Californians are eligible for quality health care coverage, either through Covered California or Medi-Cal, so do not miss this chance to get coverage that will protect you and your family,” Newsom said.
To find local help to complete the enrollment process, consumers should go to www.coveredca.com/find-help/. Covered California has 725 enrollment centers statewide, and more than 17,000 certified enrollers who can assist consumers in understanding their choices and enrolling, including individuals who can assist in other languages.
In addition, consumers can reach the Covered California service center by calling (800) 300-1506. The service center will be open until midnight on Tuesday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Wednesday through Friday.
Customers can explore their options online and find out if they qualify for financial help by using the Shop and Compare Tool.
Open enrollment is the one time of the year when people can sign up for coverage without needing to meet any conditions.
“Our top priority is making sure consumers who are trying to sign up for health insurance get the time and assistance they need,” Lee said. “Life can change in an instant, and no one should be turned away just because they get caught up in a wave of last-minute shoppers.”
Once open enrollment ends, consumers may sign up only if they experience a life-changing event such as losing their health care coverage, getting married, having a child or moving. Medi-Cal enrollment is year-round.
Since 2014, more than 3.5 million people have purchased health insurance through Covered California, and nearly 4 million have enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal program. Together, the gains have cut the rate of the uninsured in California from 17 percent in 2013 to a historic low of 6.8 percent as of June 2017.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.