Screenshot from, the website of Covered California.
Screenshot from, the website of Covered California.

The deadline to sign up on the Covered California marketplace for health insurance that takes effect Jan. 1 was Monday at midnight. But, if you started an application before that deadline, Covered California is giving you until 8pm Friday night to finish.

Here’s the catch — you cannot finish the process online. You must either contact the call center or work with a certified agent or enrollment counselor. [The call center number is 1-800-300-1506.]

Whether you are already enrolled in a plan or finishing the enrollment today, your first payment must be received by your health plan by Jan. 6, 2014. If you haven’t yet received a bill, you might want to contact the health plan.

Covered California was mum Friday morning as to how many people might be finishing applications. But James Scullary, a spokesperson with Covered California, says that “we’ve passed the 400,000 mark” for people who have completed applications and selected a plan. That includes 103,000 people who enrolled in just four days from Friday, Dec. 19 through Monday, Dec. 23. As of the end of November, an additional 179,000 people who came through the Covered California site are likely eligible for Medi-Cal.

If you didn’t start an application already, you still have time, too. Scullary says Monday was just the first of several deadlines. “December 23rd was the deadline to get coverage starting January first,” he said. “But if you missed that, and you come in after the 23rd, or you come in any time up to January 15th, then you’ll be covered February first.”

Here’s the breakdown on deadlines going forward:

  • January 15, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting Feb. 1
  • February 15, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting Mar. 1
  • March 15, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting Apr. 1
  • March 31, 2014: deadline to enroll for coverage starting May 1

March 31 is also the end of open enrollment. If you do not have health insurance by that deadline, you could be subject to a penalty.

Isabel Angell contributed to this post.

Missed Last Monday’s Obamacare Deadline? You Can Still Enroll 29 December,2013Lisa Aliferis

  • Jim Benecasa

    Hey Peter Lee, – Covered California – signed up in October, was told approved and it’s now Dec. 30, no invoice, nothing. Insurance carrier doesn’t have record of my case. BIG FAILURE AND WASTE OF TAX PAYER $$

  • RobertoInUs

    I have not received a bill yet. What should I do? Called the Service provider who said probably we will not receive a bill until mid Jan?
    So what are we supposed to do? Should I just send a check and hope they will know what to do with it? I don’t want to find myself and my family out of coverage!

  • susangibbs

    I have the same issue: I applied before the deadline, and successfully received confirmation of coverage. Then nothing. No email. No snail mail. I have written, called, waited. There is apparently no phone number on the covered ca website or any of its links that is answered by a human. Same with Anthem, the company I chose for coverage. I’ve stayed on hold for multiple hours. Now Anthem has a recording saying they cannot take calls at this time (9am Monday). When we enrolled we provided email addresses; why not just send us a confirmation of coverage and invoice by email? And with unemployment so high, why not hire actual humans to answer phones and emails? I would love a response, and a followup by KQED.

    • Covered CA plans have all extended the deadline for first payment to January 15. Here’s a link for information on how to pay (although I presume you have already called the correct number.)
      Covered CA also says it will be emailing the 200,000 people who provided an email address that they have an extension on payment. Can you email if you continue to have trouble reaching Anthem?


Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED’s State of Health blog. Since 2011, she’s been writing and editing stories for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years (more than we can count) producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. Her work has been honored for many awards. Most recently she was a finalist for “Best Topical Reporting” from the Online News Association. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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