SANTA MARIA, Calif. - It's the last-minute push to enroll on the new healthcare marketplace in order to be insured by January 1st. After the White House pushed the federal deadline for another day to Christmas Eve, Covered California said that if you at least started the process by that day you'd have the rest of the week to finish.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has been on a tear with enrollment numbers. Over 80 employees county-wide are certified to enroll people in the Covered California website, and they've hit over 1,000. On Monday, the Covered California website reported over 400,000 Californians had enrolled in health care plans.
The rush to have coverage starting January 1st is in full-swing. The state originally set Monday as the deadline to have your application finished, but quickly reiterated, saying if you had at least started an application by Monday, you have until this Friday at 8 pm to finish. You cannot finish the application online, instead you need to go to a certified counselor or call the Covered California Service Center.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department knows its work is not done. With the March 31st federal deadline still months away, another surge of enrollment will likely come soon.
Santa Maria Health Center Administrator Linda Penny says, "in January, when people realize they're going to have to have some kind of coverage, we'll get hit again and we'll get pretty busy."