Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. (Max Whitaker/Getty Images)
Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. (Max Whitaker/Getty Images) (Max Whitaker/Getty Images)

The deadline for Covered California applications is fast approaching: midnight on March 31.

The state is still strongly encouraging people to finish by that time. However, on Wednesday, Covered California announced that if you have an application in the works by March 31, you will have until April 15 to complete it.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said health exchange enrollment has been surging ahead of the deadline.

This Monday and Tuesday, more than 39,000 people opened accounts and went all the way through to plan selection. That’s more than in the whole month of October, he said.

Lee said he expects the computer systems to hold up fine.

“If we’re seeing a systemic problem, we’ll address it in a systemic way. If we see individual problems, we’ll address them on an individual basis,” he said.

[Related: Obamacare Explained — Just for Californians]

The announcement from Covered California follows a similar one yesterday by the federal government. U.S. officials said they would extend the deadline for people looking to buy insurance on the federal exchange if they begin an application by March 31.

A note for procrastinators out there — April 15 is not only the Covered California deadline but also Tax Day.

Covered California Gives Until April 15 to Finish Applications in Progress 26 March,2014Rachel Dornhelm


Rachel Dornhelm

Rachel Dornhelm has worked as a reporter, editor and producer in public radio for the last twelve years. She got her start in New York City at WNYC and went on to work with the national business program Marketplace, WBUR’s “On Point” and KQED News in San Francisco. Her work has been honored by the LA Press Club and the SF-Peninsula Press Club.

Rachel has a BA with honors in anthropology from Rice University and did graduate work at NYU.

State of Health Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor