The deadline to sign up on the Covered California marketplace for health insurance that takes effect Jan. 1 was Monday at midnight. But, if you started an application before that deadline, Covered California is giving you until 8pm Friday night to finish.
Here's the catch -- you cannot finish the process online. You must either contact the call center or work with a certified agent or enrollment counselor. [The call center number is 1-800-300-1506.]
Whether you are already enrolled in a plan or finishing the enrollment today, your first payment must be received by your health plan by Jan. 6, 2014. If you haven't yet received a bill, you might want to contact the health plan.
Covered California was mum Friday morning as to how many people might be finishing applications. But James Scullary, a spokesperson with Covered California, says that "we've passed the 400,000 mark" for people who have completed applications and selected a plan. That includes 103,000 people who enrolled in just four days from Friday, Dec. 19 through Monday, Dec. 23. As of the end of November, an additional 179,000 people who came through the Covered California site are likely eligible for Medi-Cal.
If you didn't start an application already, you still have time, too. Scullary says Monday was just the first of several deadlines. "December 23rd was the deadline to get coverage starting January first," he said. "But if you missed that, and you come in after the 23rd, or you come in any time up to January 15th, then you'll be covered February first."
Here's the breakdown on deadlines going forward:
- January 15, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting Feb. 1
- February 15, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting Mar. 1
- March 15, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting Apr. 1
- March 31, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting May 1
March 31 is also the end of open enrollment. If you do not have health insurance by that deadline, you could be subject to a penalty.
Isabel Angell contributed to this post.