Lessons Learned from Covered California Year 1

Covered California has survived its first year on the market and many executives are looking back on issues, achievements, and improvements to make the next open enrollment period a success. While the first open enrollment period had long wait times and website glitches, directors are now looking back on these issues are searching for resolutions. In response to lessons learned from the launch of Covered California, Executive Director Peter Lee stated that “The top lesson learned is the incredible response we saw from consumers. […] We weren’t ready for it. Our call centers weren’t ready. We are changing what we’re doing going into 2015.

What are the top lessons learned from Covered California Year 1:

  • Education about insurance and plan details is a priority
  • Affordability has different meanings to different people
  • Consumers needed multiple touch points in order to enroll (online, in person, on the phone etc.)
  • Interest in enrollment surpassed expectations causing challenges for the website, call centers, etc.

What Are the Changes/Solutions to Expect in 2015:

  • More training is needed to educate consumers on health insurance options and plan details. Covered California is responding by getting 6,400 Certified Enrollment Counselors and 12,000 Certified Insurance Agents to help in 2015
  • Covered California is expanding the Service Center and reassessing staffing capacity to ensure shorter waiter times and appropriate staffing
  • Website has been improved so that it can manage greater demand
  • The chat functionality is improving so people can get help in a timely manner
  • The Spanish-language app is getting improvements to help for that demographic
  • The number of people managing call centers is increasing

Open Enrollment begins November 15th and lasts until February 15th. If you have any questions regarding your plans, please feel free to reach out. For consumers who want to continue on their current plan, all they have to do is pay their premium no later than December 15th. Coverage will automatically begin starting January 1st.


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