California News

Dec 23, 2013 5:33 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Calif. health exchange struggles with heavy volume

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's health insurance exchange is being inundated with consumers who are attempting to sign up for coverage and beat the deadline to have a policy in place by the first of the year.

Covered California, which operates the state's marketplace, did not extend Monday's deadline, as the Obama administration did for the 36 states using the federal health insurance exchange.

But as high volume overwhelmed its website and call centers, the agency offered breathing room for people who were attempting to enroll.

Executive Director Peter Lee told reporters Monday that Covered California will institute a "grace period" for those who attempted to get coverage Monday but were unable to sign up.

He did not commit to a date when that grace period would end but said the agency's goal was to have a policy in place for everyone who tried to get one by Monday's deadline.

He also said the number of Californians signing up for an individual health insurance policy through the exchange had topped 400,000.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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