Deadline Tonight to Complete Covered California Applications

April 15, 2014 15:30 pm · 40 comments

California residents have until 11:59 p.m. today to complete their applications for health insurance through Covered California.

The original deadline for health coverage applications was March 31, but Covered California extended a grace period through today after its website was inundated with traffic on the last day of March.

“We recognize that people may not have been able to get through, either by phone or on their computer, to enroll by the March 31 deadline, so we are allowing them to get the help of an assister to cross the finish line,” Covered California executive director Peter Lee said in a statement.

Consumers who created online accounts and completed the first page of the application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 can simply log into their Covered California account and complete their application before midnight tonight in order to be eligible for coverage starting May 1.

Consumers who were unable to start an application due to technical difficulties can still contact authorized certified enrollment counselors, certified insurance agents and county human service agencies and explain why they missed the deadline.

The certified assisters can help them complete an application and select a plan by tonight.

Consumers can find a certified assister at

Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace under the federal Affordable Care Act. Covered California allows consumers to shop for plans from a number of providers and access subsidies they may be eligible for.

Today’s deadline does not affect low- and no-cost Medi-Cal insurance enrollment, which continues year-round through the Covered California website.

RANDOM TASK April 15, 2014 at 4:07 PM

lol yeah get ready for taxes going through the roof way to go voters you voted in so many new taxes with this the dems will succeed in eliminating the middle class and forcing everyone into poverty as they start up the indentured service line …….yay the lemmings win

Clayton Squirrel April 15, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Some friends who have not had health insurance now have it. Very exciting for them. Northern California is pretty lucky to have several insurance companies competing for your business. It will be even better next year. What I didn’t know is that places like LA have even more healthcare choices because they have hospital networks in one county that work together to offer care to people in that area. Good to know for when I get old. I bet Florida has a ton.

Shelly April 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM

We could never get through.

Rob April 15, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I can’t wait for all of the Right Wing pronouncements to start happening.

Death Panels
Women and Children to literally start dying
Government Takeover
Et al

When those happening, I start listening to the latest Right Wing talking points to see what comes up next – but, let’s wait for the original proclamations to come true.

@RandomTask April 15, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Are you a professional paranoiac or do you just do this for fun?

Mister Wister April 15, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Not too bright, are you?

Nuttsie the Nutter April 15, 2014 at 5:53 PM

@ 1

You do realize that for over 97% of Americans taxes have gone down under Obama. IRS numbers, not Fox News numbers.

An I am with Rob. Just waiting for the end of America and the world as we know it to come.

typical concord resident April 15, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Be prepared for the SS goons to show up on your doorstep armed to the teeth to rob you of your GOD-GIVEN FREEDOM to not have health insurance!

Anon April 15, 2014 at 6:32 PM

People in claycord should be aware that if you choose blue cross the john Muir network is not taking that insurance. I found out the hard way and now have to suffer through. Also the lists of doctors online is not updated. Hope no one else gets caught with this.

ObamaCare Sucks! April 15, 2014 at 7:48 PM

After Obama gets impeached after the mid-term elections, they can dismantle ObamaCare and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.

Julio April 15, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Just to let you folks know Obama care has tripled my co-pays and I cannot get my regular blood tests so I have to go off my medicine. My medications have also gone way up. I have had Kaiser for about 60 years. They are looking into a way to help me but say there isn’t much they can do.

Anon, a lot of people have gotten got in the web. Wish you well.

@julio April 15, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Why can’t you get your regular blood tests?

@typical concord resident, #8-----yep, no insurance, you get to go April 15, 2014 at 9:15 PM

to the emergency hospital each time you’re feeling poorly. No preventive care, only horribly expensive corrective care, and when you can’t, or won’t pay, the taxpayer pays for you. Typical neocon thinking; only of yourself. Forget those who have been without insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or who couldn’t pay the exhorbitant premium.

@Julio-----my co-pay is only $5, and all tests are covered April 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Of course, just like in your case, Viagra isn’t covered.

Clayton Squirrel April 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

@Shelly, who could “never” get through. I got through easily so many times to check it out. We could even get through one hour before the deadline at the end of March to help guide our friends who waited until the very last hour of the very last day. On that one day you had to be persistent and refresh your screen but we still got through. Easy to get through on days before that. You went through Covered California, I hope, because California has its own website set up for California health insurance options. The national healthcare website is for people in other states.

guest April 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

A friend of mine runs a small 8-10 person architecture firm. Their company insurance rates increased 50% because of Obamacare, from $30K/year to $45K/year. You may think that the fat cats at that firm will now take home $15K less in pocket-stuffing profit but what it really means is the loss will be distributed amongst the employees of the firm in terms of year-end bonuses and ESOP contributions, and decreased pocket-stuffing profits. It also means less spending in the local economy for kitchen upgrades, home sales, landscape renovations, painting, carpet replacement, etc. And when rates increase next year, and the year after that, and the year after that…and forever, it means more money leaving the local economy and going to cover the costs of those who are very ill.

So, the question becomes…is the onus on our society to cover the costs of the very ill -or- are we responsible only for ourselves? We’re privately invested in our homes and publicly invested on the roadways. Healthcare is being revised from a private concern to a public concern.

#9 April 15, 2014 at 10:22 PM

John Muir has not been accepting Blue Cross for a long time, not because
of Obamacare.

Happy Kaiser Member April 15, 2014 at 11:06 PM

I have Kaiser through my employer. My employer passed along to employees the entire increase in premiums for 2014. My cost for my family went up about $25/month. That’s about what it went up every year before Obamacare. No big deal. Whew! The coverage is the same as it was last year. Personally, Obamacare has been a big non-event for me. But it means I’ll be able to keep my daughter on my insurance when she graduates from college next year. Yay! It means I can think about retiring before I’m eligible for Medicare because I’m guaranteed to be able to buy a policy. Double Yay!! That had been a huge concern for me.

Among my friends, one has an adult son who had been without insurance because he couldn’t afford it even though he works full time. He was able to get affordable insurance through Covered California. I have another friend who had lost her insurance and was desperate to find new insurance. She has a pre-existing condition that made her practically uninsurable. She was very relieved to be able to purchase insurance even though she doesn’t qualify for a subsidy. I have another friend who works several part-time jobs to make ends meet. She has gone without insurance for years. She got a policy through Covered California. Her family is chipping in to help her pay for it.

@guest April 15, 2014 at 11:06 PM

>> And when rates increase next year, and the year after that, and the year after that…

You should try keeping abreast of the news a little better. Start here:

Cuzzzzzzz...... April 15, 2014 at 11:21 PM

#9 A lot of doctors and facilities stop accepting Blue Cross because of billing/payment issues. The entity would bill but be denied payment because they claimed the coding wasn’t correct for the diagnosis or procedure. This was complete bunk. It would take several re-bills and several months to get paid. Now they require the patient to pay and then the patient can bill Blue Cross for the reimbursement.

Cat Wrangler April 16, 2014 at 1:32 AM

The Affordable Care Act is opening the door to many individuals and families that could not afford health plans or were unable to obtain coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Many individuals enrolling in coverage are entrepreneurs who are growing the businesses that create and hire workers – the small businesses that are traditionally the source for the most new jobs in America. Others are casualties of the crush of the recent economic disasters and lost their benefits and can’t afford to pay COBRA prices. Others are single moms, large families, young singles and our neighbors, friends and family.

This is a great and wonderful effort that is making a difference in the quality of life for people who would not have been able to access it without the Affordable Care Act. I am glad that we live in a society that admires and lives by the principles of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Hurray for the ACA! Hurray for the USA! Hurray that we are an assembly of people of diverse backgrounds and interests that found enough common ground to try to create a healthier world for all around us ! Now, let’s go make a real difference and help our schools, students, academic, youth sports and arts programs!

bigdaddy April 16, 2014 at 7:33 AM

#17 john muir does take blue cross and blue shield when it is sold off exchange, a non covered ca product. however, when you purchase insurance through covered ca “obama care” some of the doctors at john muir might not be contracted, as they did not sign the contract with the exchange sold plans called covered ca.

guest April 16, 2014 at 8:13 AM

At @guest, did I sense a snarky response from you? As in, you know better than I do? Your link refers to the cost of the program being lower for the government: “At the same time, the law’s costs to the federal government are shrinking.”

Premiums raising, which is what I was discussing, are a different story:
“The CBO projects the price of annual premiums to rise slightly from an average of $3,800 this year for the second-lowest silver plan to $3,900 in 2015 and $4,400 in 2016. The agency expects premiums to keep rising, reaching $6,900 in 2024, for an average annual increase of 6 percent from 2016 to 2024.”

Start here, wise guy:

@guest April 16, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Premiums were going up year after year before the ACA, at a much higher rate than inflation. When I started working employers provided insurance for employees at no cost to employees. That hasn’t been the case for many years. Employers have been charging employees more and more for coverage. For many years there have been stories in the news about employers dropping employees to part time status or hiring contractors instead of employees to avoid paying benefits. Employers dropped coverage altogether due to rising insurance costs. All of this was happening years before the ACA had been passed.

Thanks to the ACA, there are now rules in place aimed at slowing the rate of premium increase. There are also rules that will require larger employers to provide insurance and allow breaks for smaller companies that provide insurance as well as creating exchanges to allow smaller companies to get the same advantages in numbers that larger employers have. It’s not all in place yet, but it’s coming. It’s part of the Affordable Care Act.

momfor2 April 16, 2014 at 10:09 AM

@#17 John Muir does accept Blue Cross insurance as long as it is not through CoveredCA. I am a insurance broker and have Blue Cross and I am able to use John Muir Hospital services. Unfortunately a lot of specialists are not accepting coverage through CoveredCa.
@ @guest Employers have only started lowering hours and laying off people since ACA started. We had all our employers do early renewal to avoid this mess and thank goodness we did because their renewals were between 25 and 50% higher due to ACA I saw actual renewals that they would have gotten. Also rates have increased substantially for employers solely because of Obamacare get your facts straight. Also Employer sponsored plans never had pre-existing conditions. You are suppose to get insurance before you get sick. Do you really think you could get car insurance after you crashed your car! Most large and small employers have always provided insurance 85% percent of the population was quite happy with their insurance before ACA. Tired of everybody wanting everything for free!

#25 April 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I purchased a policy on Blue Shield through Covered California, and the network is the same as I had before, doctors, hospitals etc…(I always had Blue Shield.)

guest April 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Again,at @guest, relative to your first sentence: “Premiums were going up year after year before the ACA, at a much higher rate than inflation.” did you notice that my friend’s rate jumped 50% because of Obamacare? Fifty-percent!! Dude, that’s a fifty percent increase! That’s 33x higher than inflation (currently at 1.5%).

Also, your statement: “For many years there have been stories in the news about employers dropping employees to part time status or hiring contractors instead of employees to avoid paying benefits.” Yeah, even more stories now. The reduction of hours and hiring contractors has indeed increased in the last 3 years, i.e., you’re making my point for me, thank you.

Next up: “Employers dropped coverage altogether due to rising insurance costs.” Insurers also canceled how many millions of plans beginning in the fall of last year?? And now those who were forced out can re-enroll via Obamacare, and Obama uses those policies in his bogus 7.1 million enrolled number? Can you not see the sham?

Lastly, “Thanks to the ACA, there are now rules in place aimed at slowing the rate of premium increase.” yeah, to 6%, as my link referenced – 4x the rate of inflation.

The political acumen and maturity necessary to run the government is not currently in office. There are two ways to run things, divide and conquer, or unite and lead. There is almost no growing sentiment in this country that we are being united. There is growing sentiment in this country that we are being divided.

#25 April 16, 2014 at 11:56 AM

My husband called John Muir this spring to see if they would accept Blue Cross and they said “no”. We were looking for policies for our children outside of the exchange(he explained it to them, too on the phone.)

momfor2 April 16, 2014 at 2:17 PM

@#26 Well that is not what we are hearing from people who are going for services. Hopefully you are lucky and your personal doctor is accepting CoveredCA plans but the network is not the same in CoveredCA as out of it the network is slimmer in CoveredCA we have been told that by all the insurance carriers we are agents for all the carriers.

@momfor2 April 16, 2014 at 3:02 PM

I guess I am one of the lucky ones. My Blue Shield Insurance through Covered California started on Jan 1st and I went to a lab and my doctors, also my prescriptions were filled without any problem.
I already received statements on those services from Blue Shield, no issue so far.

@Julio April 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Julio, what Kaiser plan do you have? All plans sold on the Covered California exchange, including Kaiser plans, cover lab tests. It is a required benefit as part of the ACA. There is a co-pay, which varies depending on which tier plan you bought, but there is no limit to the number of lab visits.

@Momfor2 April 16, 2014 at 4:36 PM

The rates did not increase substantially for my employer. I know this for a fact because all of the increase was passed on to employees. Larger employers already providing coverage that met most ACA requirements. Therefore they did not need large increases to bring their plans into compliance.

@Momfor2 April 16, 2014 at 5:57 PM

I was the one who said that my friend with a pre-existing condition was able to get insurance thanks to the ACA. You said she should have gotten it before she got sick. That would have been impossible because it’s a condition she’s had her whole life. She had been covered under her husband’s employer plan. But she lost that coverage after a sudden and unexpected divorce. She was desperate. It was the first time she’d ever been without insurance. Sometimes you think you have your life under control, but then life throws you a curveball. The ACA was a Godsend for her. She wasn’t looking for something for nothing. She was simply looking for a policy to buy that would cover her medical needs. Before the ACA she was SOL due to her pre-existing condition. Now she has coverage that she’s happy to pay full price for – no subsidies. She’s thrilled. She’s relieved. She’s grateful for the ACA.

Ranchgirlca April 17, 2014 at 4:56 AM

My friends who now have insurance are all thrilled. Some haven’t health care for the first time in years. They couldn’t be happier. Getting tired of the haters so I just tune out.

Connie Dobbs April 17, 2014 at 6:07 AM

“Even though the insurance company cashed your check, it doesn’t mean it (the policy) has been implemented,” said Grimm at a Wednesday press conference with Figueroa. “That’s the problem – that the back end of Obamacare hasn’t been fully built. You can go on the front end of an application and look at a list of plans, but what they don’t tell you is that many of those plans don’t have doctors yet.”

Kelley April 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Thank goodness to obamacare–where people are required to have insurance by law.

@Connie April 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Lucky for us In Claycord we could choose Kaiser plans on the exchange. We can choose from among the same doctors and hospitals as people with Kaiser employer plans or Kaiser non-exchange plans.

momfor2 April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

@33 Yes some people it did help but the majority of the population has been screwed and sorry but all employers saw their plans cost go up dramatically so obviously they have to pass some of the cost off to employees. As for your friend she is going to have a hard time finding a specialist that is all I am saying. The ACA is not insurance all it covers is your physicals and doctor visits out side of that her out of pocket costs are going to be high much higher than what all were paying before ACA. I am not a hater just telling the truth.

momfor2 April 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM

@33 Also your friend can get insurance through an employer with a pre-existing condition so once she gets a full time job she will be able to get real insurance.

Jess April 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

A few facts…

Guest @27, the RAND Corporation estimates there has been a net gain of 9.3 million covered by insurance between September 2013 and mid-March 2014. The number does not include those who enrolled on the exchanges during the surge at the end of March, so the final number will probably be higher. The gains came through additional enrollment in employer-sponsored plans, Medicaid, and private plans. The number was calculated using a series of surveys. It does not count as a “gain” anyone who signed up on the exchange if they previously had insurance. Less than one million who had been insured at the beginning of the survey period ended up without insurance at the end of the survey period. The percentage of Americans without insurance dropped from 20.5% in September 2013 to 15.8% in mid-March 2014.

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