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Covered California Deadline for 2021 Health Insurance Extended

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Registered nurse Angelo Daulat at Kaiser Permanente in Richmond where patients with respiratory symptoms are being triaged, on Thursday, Mar. 19, 2020. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Covered California says it will give people more time to purchase health insurance this year.

Open enrollment for the state’s health insurance marketplace was set to end Sunday. But on Thursday, the agency that runs the marketplace said it would launch a special enrollment period Feb. 1 that will run through May 15.

The federal Affordable Care Act created health insurance marketplaces for some people to purchase individual insurance plans with the help of federal subsidies. Most states let the federal government run their marketplaces for them but California runs its own through Covered California.

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The announcement came on the same day that President Biden signed an executive order declaring a special enrollment period for states served by the federal marketplace.

In a news release, Covered California said of the estimated 2.7 million Californians who lack health insurance, about 1.2 million are either eligible for subsidies to help pay their monthly premiums or qualify for government-funded insurance through Medicaid.

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Earlier this month, Covered California said nearly 1.6 million people had purchased health insurance through the marketplace.

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