Covered Calif. Urges Completion of Applications by April 15 Deadline
On Wednesday, Covered California issued a statement reminding consumers to complete their insurance applications by the April 15, adding that the deadline will not be extended further, the Washington Times reports (Howell, Washington Times, 4/9).
Last month, Covered California officials said the exchange would allow potential enrollees to finish their applications by April 15 -- provided they had started the application by midnight on March 31 (California Healthline, 3/31).
In the statement this week, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said, "[W]e are closing in on the April 15 deadline, and we are working to be sure everyone who wants and needs insurance will complete the process in time."
He added, "However, we are not developing any policies at this time for any unforeseen technical trouble on April 15" (Washington Times, 4/9).
The exchange also noted that enrollees must also pay their premiums by April 15 in order to ensure coverage beginning on May 1 (Covered California release, 4/9).
Report Urges Exchange Improvements
In related news, a health advocacy group in California has issued a report urging improvements to Covered California's customer services as implementation of the Affordable Care Act continues, KPBS reports (Goldberg, KPBS, 4/9).
In the report, Health Access California recommends that the exchange:
- Fix glitches with the website and ensure it is available in English and Spanish;
- Increase call center capacity;
- Increase reimbursement and streamline the certification process for enrollment counselors;
- Tailor its outreach efforts toward harder-to-reach populations, such as Latinos;
- Improve tools to assist consumers with comparing and selecting plans; and
- Make health plan choices easier to understand (Health Access California report, 4/9).