Covered California allows more sign-up time

The official time to sign up for Covered California's open enrollment period has run out. But unprecedented website traffic is forcing an unofficial deadline extension.
March 31, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The official time to sign up for Covered California's open enrollment period has run out. But unprecedented website traffic is forcing an unofficial deadline extension.

Covered California says if you tried to sign up Monday and had technical problems, you now have until April 15 to finish signing up. But that's only if you get help from certified assistants, who they admit won't really ask for proof of those technical problems.

Millions of Californians spent their Monday surfing the Covered California website, trying to get health insurance as part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. But the process isn't easy.

There were so many online glitches and other slowdowns that Covered California gave the uninsured more time to pick a plan.

Sydnii Ray says her family thought the changes to health care would be good for them.

"We thought, I mean, that if we kept paying these high deductibles it'd be worth it if we had to use our health insurance," Ray said. "That hasn't been the case. Nothing has been easy."

The Ray family is now dealing with dad, Gary's, bone cancer diagnosis. They're also struggling to get treatment covered. Gary, a lifelong dairyman from Chowchilla, is in the hospital right now. What happens next, they don't know.

"Every doctor that you talk to is very pessimistic about their job right now, because they're having such a hard time," Ray said.

Sydnii says her family had Covered California for about a month then realized it wasn't enough for them. Shortly after picking a new plan they discovered her dad's cancer.

They're fighting the insurance company's decision not to cover his treatment. And they're wishing better luck to those signing up and sticking with Covered California.

People like Celia Sarabia who face difficulty signing up. "I came to pick my plan today but the person that's helping me wasn't here so I have to come back," she said.

An exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA shows of those asked in the Valley about half had problems signing up. And of that group only 34 percent finished successfully.

Covered California says its website had more than 7 million website hits Monday, that's quadruple its next biggest traffic day.

If you aren't signed up by now, you're advised to reach out to a certified assistant. For more information, visit www.coveredca.com.


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