Covered California's website delays buy people more time

SACRAMENTO - Californians who did not meet the March 31, deadline to sign up for health care due to online glitches are catching a break.

Covered California's website experienced major delays Monday because of an unprecedented amount of people trying to enroll on the last day.

In a conference call with reporters, the executive director of Covered California said their website received 7.7 million page views as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Organizers said they failed to plan for the high demand. "We had done much to plan for it. We had not planned for a four-fold increase of the highest date we ever had in the month of December,and because of that we've adjusted our policy," Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said.

The state made a last-minute change to the rules Monday evening.

Before the change, individuals needed to be able to show they had started enrollment process by March 31.

Now, even those who haven't done a thing will have until April 15 to apply for health insurance through a certified enrollment counselor. The online enrollment process is already closed.

On Monday, more than 500 people went to SEIU's United Health Care Workers office in Sacramento to apply in person to avoid problems with the website.

But the influx of people made for a long waiting period.

"We've been waiting for like six hours now. We've been here all day," said Jazmin Jelks of Sacramento.

Even after hearing of the extension, those who had been waiting in line just wanted to get the enrollment process over with.

"The wait is frustrating but if we walk out of here with coverage, it's all worth it," Kenny Tollestrup said.


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