Covered California Officials: No Further Enrollment Extensions
Tuesday is the last day for California residents to enroll in health plans through Covered California, and exchange officials say consumers will not receive additional enrollment extensions, KQED's "State of Health" reports (Dembosky, "State of Health," KQED, 4/14).
Last month, Covered California officials said the exchange would allow potential enrollees to finish their applications by April 15 -- provided that they had started the application by midnight on March 31 (California Healthline, 4/11).
However, health officials say there will not be another "grace period" for consumers.
Covered California spokesperson Larry Hicks said, "People have had since October  to enroll. These are the final hours." He added, "If they don't sign up by Tuesday, they likely won't have insurance for the rest of the year" (Seipel, Vallejo Times-Herald, 4/15).
Dana Howard, another exchange spokesperson, said, "We're not making up a new policy for people who have not taken this seriously. This is your health. This is a new law."
However, residents who experience a "qualifying life event," such as a divorce or job loss, will be eligible to enroll in coverage past the deadline ("State of Health," KQED, 4/14).
Consumers who fail to sign up for coverage before the deadline could face a tax penalty of $95 or 1% of their household income, whichever is greater (Vallejo Times-Herald, 4/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.