On Wednesday, Covered California officials announced that more than 197,000 consumers had signed up for coverage as of Tuesday evening, the Central Valley Business Journal reports (Central Valley Business Journal, 12/16).
Earlier this week, Covered California officials extended the deadline to sign up for health plans that will start Jan. 1, 2016, by two days. Dec. 15 was the original deadline to enroll in or make changes to such coverage. The enrollment period began on Nov. 1.
Of the estimated 750,000 uninsured Californians who are eligible to receive subsidies for insurance purchased through the exchange, Covered California officials have estimated that between 260,000 and 500,000 people will sign up for new coverage before open enrollment ends Jan. 31, 2016.
Coverage for those who sign up after Dec. 17 will take effect in either February or March.
Certified enrollers — including insurance agents who are still processing thousands of applications — welcomed the extension, noting that it will allow them to ensure consumers receive coverage (California Healthline, 12/16).
Details of Enrollment
In a release, the exchange highlighted a late surge in enrollment, with:
- More than 22,000 consumers signing up on Monday; and
- More than 32,000 consumers signing up on Tuesday.
Officials noted that the two-day total of about 55,000 sign-ups surpassed enrollment during the same two days in the last open enrollment period, when more than 35,000 Californians enrolled in coverage from Dec. 14, 2014, to Dec. 15, 2014 (Central Valley Business Journal, 12/16).
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said, “The interest we have seen over the last two days is further proof of the continued demand that Californians have for quality, affordable health care coverage” (Covered California release, 12/16).