California stretches healthcare deadline

Healthcare consumers who take action to start enrollment in Covered California or make an appointment by midnight Sunday will have until Friday to complete the enrollment process, Covered California officials said.

Enrollment officially ends Sunday, but Covered California’s executive director Peter Lee said consumers can finish the process if they are working with a certified insurance agent, certified enrollment counselor, plan-based enroller, county eligibility worker, or service center representative at Covered California.

CoveredCA.com has a listing of events and store locations by Zip code for consumers wanting to enroll. Click on “Find Local Help.” Once open enrollment ends, consumers can purchase insurance through Covered California only if they have a qualifying event.

Individuals can enroll in Medi-Cal, a free or low-cost health program for people with limited income and resources, year-round. Covered California officials said more than 415,000 consumers had enrolled in coverage by Friday, with more than 25,000 that day alone.

Lee said in a statement:

“Up and down the state, we’re seeing enrollment happening in libraries, at health clinics and in insurance agents’ offices, with lines out the door at some locations.”

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.