From YubaNet.com

CA
Covered California Expands Service Center Hours and Highlights Key Enrollment Dates
Author: Covered California
Published on Dec 18, 2013 - 6:59:16 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Dec. 17, 2013 - With health care coverage through Covered California™ set to begin for thousands of people on Jan. 1, the state's health benefit exchange announced expanded Service Center hours and outlined some key dates for consumers.

Covered California's Service Center, at (800) 300-1506, will now be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22, to help consumers enroll.

The agency also wants to remind consumers that it extended the deadline for enrolling in plans and paying for coverage beginning Jan. 1. If a consumer chooses a plan by Dec. 23, 2013, and the insurance company receives payment by Jan. 6, 2014, coverage will be retroactive on Jan. 1, 2014.

Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.

For answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment deadlines and payment dates, visit www.coveredca.com/FAQs/Enrollment-and-Payment-FAQs-FINAL.pdf.

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires most people to enroll by March 31, 2014, or face a tax penalty. If consumers enroll between March 16 and March 31, their coverage will begin on May 1, 2014.

People applying for health insurance through Covered California will find out if they qualify for financial help with premium payments or if they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost insurance through Medi-Cal.

Signing up for health insurance will also give Californians the peace of mind that comes with medical coverage.

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.CoveredCA.com.

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