Covered California Reports Issues With Insurance Renewal Process
Despite robust application numbers during the first three weeks of open enrollment, Covered California officials on Wednesday said that it has not been "a glitch-free renewal process" for individuals seeking to make changes to their existing coverage, the Los Angeles Times reports.
For more on Covered California enrollment, see today's "Capitol Desk" post.
According to the Times, Covered California officials have been urging individuals to shop around on the state's exchange rather than automatically renewing their coverage. Otherwise, they could face higher premiums or changes to their provider networks.
However, consumers who have tried to make changes to their coverage have reported:
- Long wait times at the state's call center; and
- Technical problems when enrolling online (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 12/10).
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said, "There have been some bumps along the way, but different from last year" (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 12/10).
According to Lee, the state will release details on how many people have renewed coverage or switched plans by next month.
Details of Sign-Ups
Despite the issues, Lee said that "by and large, [the sign-up] process is going smoothly" (Los Angeles Times, 12/10).
For example, officials on Wednesday announced that 48,952 individuals who applied for private coverage for the first time through Covered California had selected a plan as of Dec. 3 (Covered California release, 12/10). In comparison, about 31,000 individuals enrolled in private coverage through the exchange during the first month of open enrollment last year, according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 12/10).
Meanwhile, Covered California also announced that during the second open enrollment period so far:
- 116,262 individuals enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program;
- An additional 44,295 individuals had been determined to be eligible for Medi-Cal; and
- An additional 81,287 individuals had been determined to be eligible for private coverage (Covered California release, 12/10).