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'Bumpy' California Enrollment Period Ends with Over 3 Million Health Care Sign-Ups

Eric Risberg / AP
 

Eric Risberg / AP

California health officials say the open enrollment period for insurance has been ‘bumpy’ but it has ended with more than 3 million people signed up for coverage.

“It has not been perfect, and it won’t be perfect as we go forward. But we are touching millions of people’s lives." says Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California.

About 1.9 million Californians have new Medi-Cal coverage, and about 1.4 million people have signed up for private insurance.

Among the people with private plans, about half had insurance agents or enrollment counselors sign them up.

Lee says that’s something to keep in mind for the next enrollment period. 

“Everyone needs multiple touches. Everyone needs to hear the message multiple times from multiple places. Because health insurance has not been made simple and easy," says Lee. 

"It is confusing. People need help, need advice, need counsel from various places.”

The vast majority of the new enrollees have government help to pay for their coverage.

People who qualify for Medi-Cal, or who have a major life event will continue to have the option to sign up. All others will have to wait until November 15th.

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