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Spike In Health Insurance Enrollees As Deadline Nears

A screenshot of the Covered California health insurance exchange website on November 15, 2016.

Thousands of Californians are rushing to sign up for health insurance by Dec. 15 to ensure coverage will begin Jan. 1.
More than 11,000 Californians enrolled in coverage through Covered California Monday. The state-based health insurance exchange allows people to shop for a plan, find out eligibility for a discount on private insurance, and determine whether they qualify for the state's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal.

James Scullary, spokesman for Covered California, says the increase in enrollment leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline happens every year.

"This would be sort of the beginning of the surge that we typically see. So, it would be more than what we normally see on a day-to-day basis and I'd expect it to get higher over the next few days," he says.

Since open enrollment began Nov. 1, more than 139,000 people have newly enrolled in a health plan.

More than 1.2 million others have renewed coverage.

The final deadline for enrollment is Jan. 31. 

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