State’s New Health Benefit Exchange Receives Thousands of Calls and Millions of Page Views on Launch Day
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ officials are thrilled with the strong consumer response today, the historic first day that California consumers have been able to shop for, compare and enroll in affordable health plans or apply for no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal through the state’s new health benefit marketplace.
Calls to Covered California Service Centers and visits to Covered California Web pages from enthusiastic consumers were extremely high throughout the day. Some 5 million page views were made to the Covered California website by 3 p.m. The page views averaged 5,000 per minute and peaked at 16,000 per minute.
Also by 3 p.m. Covered California had logged in some 17,000 phone calls to its Service Centers.
To ensure that consumers will have positive experiences going forward, Covered California will take down the enrollment section of its website from 9 p.m. Tuesday until early Wednesday. This will help optimize performance for the millions of people expected to log in to use the enrollment function in future. Other portions of the website will remain accessible.
Today is merely the starting line, not the finish line, for those seeking health coverage through Covered California. Consumers will have the ability to enroll by Dec. 15, 2013, in order to ensure coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014, and after that they can still get insurance until open enrollment concludes on March 31, 2014.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California will help individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that will be available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.