Covered California extends enrollment deadline to Saturday

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Covered California added two days to its enrollment deadline Thursday, prompting many people to inundate health resource centers in Los Angeles.

Altamed's Health Insurance Resource Center in East L.A. handled back-to-back appointments. The demand was so high after the state agency extended its deadline. People must sign up by Saturday in order to have health insurance by Jan. 1.

But many people are confused about the online enrollment process. Lupe Jimenez, 22, sought help at Altamed. She hoped for the most affordable care she can afford.

"There was too many steps, I guess, so I figured I could come in and it would be easier for myself," she said.

People who do not sign up for Covered California by midnight on Saturday will not be covered by Jan. 1, and they will received a penalty of 2.5 percent of their entire 2016 income.

At the least, the fee would be $695 per adult or nearly $2,100 per family. The penalty is more if your household makes more and your coverage starts later.

Many of the enrollees said that given the election, they are concerned about Covered California's future, but the marketplace's executive director is confident the program will stand the test of time.

"Look (in) Washington, things don't happen overnight. This is a big law that has 20 million Americans covered. This will not change overnight," Peter Lee said.

The Altamed center in East L.A. and another in Santa Ana are dedicated solely to insurance enrollment. Both will be open until Saturday. The centers urge people to call (888) 363-1293 to make an appointment.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.