By Lisa Aliferis and April Dembosky
Because of what it termed a "dramatic spike" in traffic, Covered California announced late Monday that it would extend the March 31 deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan. But the extension has certain limitations.
- Anyone who has not been able to get on the website for technical reason can apply in person or through the Covered California call center by April 15
- Anyone who starts an application by midnight Monday (March 31) has until April 15 to finish, either online or in person (this was previously announced)
- Anyone who is filing a paper application must mail it today; it must be postmarked March 31 -- but Covered California strongly encourages people to apply in person as opposed to mailing your application
For consumers who complete an application and select a plan by 11:59pm April 15, insurance will take effect May 1.
People are on the honor system when they say that they had experienced difficulty. "People can lie. We think people won't. We think Californians are honest people," Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said in a call with reporters.
But he said there are few downsides to people being dishonest. "The harm would be an individual getting coverage that would not have gotten health coverage."