Third and Final Site Projected to Add 280 Trained Representatives for Guiding Consumers Through Enrollment
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ opened its Fresno Service Center this week, staffed with 58 new employees and with training ramping up for peak enrollment times. By the end of the year, the Fresno center is expected to have a total of 280 representatives.
Covered California previously opened two other Service Center locations, in Rancho Cordova and in Contra Costa County. By Dec. 1, the state health benefit exchange expects to have a total of almost 560 employees at the three sites, using state-of-the-art technology to help consumers understand the benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, determine their eligibility for Medi-Cal or for premium assistance, and enroll for health care coverage.
“Hiring and training for Fresno Service Center representatives is under way, creating waves of new employees committed to our historic mission of providing access to affordable health care coverage in California,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “We need these skilled customer care representatives to give consumers first-class service during the higher anticipated call volumes in November and December. And we’re glad to bring much-needed jobs to the Fresno community.”
The 52,000-square-foot center at 7201 N. Palm Ave., Fresno, started taking live calls on Monday. With the launch of the Fresno site, the three Covered California Service Center locations have a total of 481 representatives handling calls statewide in 13 languages.
Each call going to the Service Center number (800) 300-1506 will go to the first available representative, regardless of the geographic area of the caller. Service Center representatives handle about 65,000 consumer calls a week. Call volumes in October reached nearly a quarter million.
Service Center representatives are trained to be expert resources, from fielding questions about eligibility and qualifying for premium assistance to guiding a consumer through enrollment. They offer support by phone, email, Web chat and written communications.
The representatives receive more than five weeks of instructor-led training, primarily scenario-based. They are introduced to Covered California’s phone, computer and online resources. By the completion of training, representatives have more than 50 hours of hands-on, supervised practice in helping consumers.
The Service Center is open for business from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, 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 helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is 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 can 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..com.