Monday night (3/31) is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama's health care law. If you are without health insurance, be sure to sign up for Covered California. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to call my office! We are here!
Remember, my office accepts Blue Shield and Health Net PPO.
I got you!
-- Dr. Dale
Exceptions in place for Covered California’s March 31 deadline
Covered California will not extend the Monday deadline for open enrollment through its health plan exchange, though extra time will be given to those who initiated an application in time but were unable to complete the process, officials said Wednesday.
Those who start applying for a policy before 11:59 p.m. Monday will receive assistance in completing their application by April 15, said Peter Lee, executive director for Covered California.
“We actually know and expect many people who will try to get enrolled,” Lee said in an afternoon teleconference. “We are absolutely committed in getting people across that finish line.”
He emphasized that there is not an official Covered California extension, though the amendment is similar to the Obama administration’s recent decision to give an extra 60 days to people enrolling in health coverage on the federal website if they qualify under any of 10 general categories of special circumstances, such as natural disasters, system errors and family problems, according to The Associated Press.
State-run exchanges, including the one operated by Covered California, do not have to comply.
Lee said that as March 31 has drawn closer, interest in enrollment has surged, adding that on Tuesday, 50,000 applications were started. That’s why he has been urging Californians to sign up before the deadline, he noted.
He encouraged those who want to buy a plan to go online atCoveredCa.com, visit a certified agent or counselor or call Covered California at 800-300-1506 to start the process by completing these preliminary steps: Create an online account, fill out all required information on the “Apply for Benefits” and “Consent for Verification” pages, then “Save & Exit.” The applicant must return to the online account no later than April 15 to complete the process and choose a plan.
“You’re better off meeting with someone in person, seeing that certified agent and (being) told that you are done,” Lee said.
Phone lines will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily — including Monday, which is the state holiday of Cesar Chavez’s birthday.
After the end of open enrollment on March 31, Covered California will still be open for those who qualify under the special circumstances listed under the Affordable Care Act. Those circumstances also include getting married or divorced, having a baby or adopting a child, moving to a new area that has different insurance options, losing health care through an employer or undergoing a significant change in income.
Those who qualify for Medi-Cal can sign up anytime through Covered California. The next open enrollment through the state exchange will begin in November.