Enrollment deadline extended for Covered California

Record-setting numbers of people trying to sign up for Covered California health insurance plans overwhelmed the system on the final day of open enrollment, prompting the exchange to allow consumers who had trouble enrolling by the deadline to work with a certified delegate to finish their application by April 15. Because of the staggering demands on the system, Covered California announced the following policy recently:

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. 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. March 31, 2014, 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, 2014. Those enrollees will receive coverage effective May 1.

Certified enrollment counselors, county eligibility workers, certified insurance agents and plan-based enrollers who are having a difficult time helping consumers apply through the enrollment website should assist the consumers using a paper application. These service channels can then enter the information into the enrollment website. Completed applications (with plan selections) must be entered by April 15, 2014 (by 11:59 p.m.).

When entering the paper application, please make sure you select the "Open Enrollment" category when responding to the question, "What is the ‘life event’ causing you to re-apply?" Consumers may receive a May 1, 2014 effective date with their selected plan.