First day for dozens at Fresno's Covered California call center

October 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Monday was the first day for dozens of workers at Fresno's Covered California call center. The center is housed in the former Bank of America call center at Locust and Palm in Northwest Fresno. In the once empty call center dozens of people are being trained to take calls regarding the Affordable Care Act.

The first day on the job for 69 new employees at the Fresno Covered California call center started off pretty easy.

"Today, they're getting their name badges, they're getting their computers. They're getting set up so they can start work," Athena Fleming with Covered California said.

Before taking any questions about the federal insurance mandate workers will undergo an intensive training program that will last several weeks.

"So they're going to be here for a full five weeks going through really just learning what there is to know about the affordable care act and of course how to go ahead and answer those calls coming in, answer those chats that come through and of course emails as well," Training Manager Charles Bormann said.

Other call centers across the state have already seen a high demand as consumers come up with questions about which insurance plan to get.

"Open enrollment began Oct. 1st, that day one we got thousands of phone calls, our website got hit. We have 10,000 website hits at once in our first hour," Fleming said.

The Fresno call center is still under construction. Workers are renovating the other half of the facility as more employees are expected to come in.

"We will continue to hire in phases and train in phases, so eventually we'll have 500 employees here in Fresno," Fleming said.

The call center is one of three in the state. The center itself will open on November 18 and begin taking calls.