CHA News Article

Covered California Updates Enrollment Figures
Announces policy for those unable to apply online due to technical difficulties

Covered California reported a dramatic spike in visits to its website yesterday, announcing that enrollment in its health insurance plans has reached 1.2 million and continued in the final hours before yesterday’s midnight deadline. From midnight to 2:30 p.m. yesterday, there were 324,000 unique visitors on the Covered California website, with more than 5.7 million pages viewed. Yesterday’s number represents a record for website visits since the October launch of the new marketplace.

Website traffic yesterday caused the enrollment functionality to slow dramatically and to experience periodic unplanned system outages. Because of the staggering demands on its system, Covered California announced yesterday the following policy:

  • Consumers who were unable to create an online account or start their online application because of technical difficulties can contact Covered California Service Center representatives, Covered California Certified Enrollment Counselors, Covered California Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Plan-Based Enrollers and county eligibility workers to explain that they attempted to get through on March 31 and experienced difficulties. Those consumers will have until 11:59 p.m. on April 15 to work with the assister to complete their application and choose a plan.
  • Consumers who created an online account and completed the first page of the application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 will be able to complete their application for the open-enrollment period, either by themselves online or with the help of a certified delegate. Consumers must complete the application and select a plan by 11:59 p.m. April 15. Those enrollees will receive coverage effective May 1.

Covered California is working diligently to resolve technical issues with the website. During online application slowdowns or system outages, consumers can visit the informational portion of the www.CoveredCA.com website to find fact sheets, and to use the “shop and compare” tool to see plan choices and check eligibility for financial assistance and Medi-Cal coverage.

Medi-Cal Enrollment

While yesterday was the final day for enrollment in a Covered California health insurance plan, enrollment in Medi-Cal continues year-round. Individuals who would like their eligibility determined for low-cost/no-cost Medi-Cal can apply at www.CoveredCA.com.

Through mid-March, Medi-Cal has enrolled approximately 1.5 million new members. This includes individuals who applied through the Covered California web portal and county human services agencies, as well as approximately 650,000 former Low Income Health Program members transitioned to Medi-Cal by the California Department of Health Care Services and 134,000 individuals who applied through the state’s Express Lane program. Additionally, more than 1.1 million individuals who applied through the Covered California website were determined likely eligible for Medi-Cal coverage.

Special Enrollment – April 1 through Nov. 14, 2014

Consumers with certain qualifying events are eligible to sign up for health insurance outside the open-enrollment period. Qualifying events include:

  • Loss of minimum essential coverage through an existing health plan;
  • Change in family due to marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption;
  • Change of U.S. residency or immigration status;
  • Loss of coverage as a result of change or loss of employment;
  • Change in the cost of existing coverage through an employer-sponsored plan so that the premium is no longer affordable (exceeds 9.5 percent of salary).

There may be other circumstances or situations not mentioned above that qualify an individual to enroll outside of the open-enrollment period. For assistance, consumers are encouraged to contact the Covered California Service Center.

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