Covered California says people who start a health insurance application through the exchange by March 31, will have until April 15 to finish the paperwork.
Executive Director Peter Lee says he wants to accommodate the overwhelming enrollment interest seen this week.
“Tuesday, we saw more accounts opened than any day, including at the peak of December when we saw a lot of enrollment," says Lee. "We saw in the first two days of this week, on Monday and Tuesday, more than 39,000 people that went all the way through to plan selection. That’s more people than enrolled or selected a plan in the entire month of October.”
Lee says high traffic is slowing down the website. He recommends getting in-person help from an enrollment counselor or insurance agent.
Uninsured people who miss this week’s deadline will have to wait until next year to get insurance, and may face a tax penalty.
Covered California says it’s allowing people an extra couple of weeks to finish enrolling if they start their application by this March 31.
Premiums in California’s individual marketplace will increase for the fifth consecutive year, due in part to federal changes and a predicted departure of healthy consumers.
Kaiser Permanente’s "Salud en Español" clinic is part of a wider effort to increase culturally appropriate services for Latino residents, who are at high risk for diabetes and hypertension but are less likely than white patients to go to the doctor.
Gov. Jerry Brown opted not to include major investments in public health insurance programs in his budget revision on Friday, citing a preference for one-time spending measures over long-term commitments.
Enrollment in Covered California dropped slightly this year. Numbers out today show 1.5 million people enrolled for 2018. That's down about two percent from the previous year. A drop in renewals offset gains in new enrollees.
There's a big public health push to stop pumping livestock with antibiotics. A new report looks at which fast food chains are being choosy about their meat.