Covered California Deadline Passed; Leeway for Some

Published 12/24 2013 05:22PM

Updated 12/24 2013 06:22PM

Although the federal government extended Monday's deadline to Tuesday night to enroll in health insurance for coverage beginning Jan. 1, Covered California kept its Monday deadline.

However, there is some leeway until the end of the day Tuesday for those who've already started an application by Monday.

As the deadlines come and go, enrollment counselors around Fresno have been busy helping people sign up.

At Clinica Sierra Vista, a federally qualified health care center with clinics in Fresno, enrollment counselors were busy all day Monday helping people complete their applications, said Janet Fernandez, a certified enrollment counselor.

Counselors take appointments or walk-ins to answer questions and enroll people in Covered California or screen them for Medi-Cal eligibility.

Although one deadline has passed, the staff at Clinica Sierra Vista said people should know there is still time to enroll.

"People should know that they're still eligible to enroll and that we have people who could help them enroll. There's also other agencies in the county that can help as well," said Ruben Chavez, chief administrative officer with Clinica Sierra Vista.

With the expansion of Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, many people who are uninsured may now qualify for the state health subsidy.

Many of the patients who come to Clinica Sierra Vista are uninsured. Many of these people don't know their options, Fernandez said.

"That's when we have to explain to them what their options are under this law and how this law has changed the system in order for them to qualify, whether it's Medi-Cal or for private insurance," Fernandez said.

In order to comply with the law and buy insurance through Covered California or through Medi-Cal, enrollment counselors say they can help answer questions.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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