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Covered California Preparing Call Centers For Oct. 1 Launch Date

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Cambi Brown Cambi Brown
Born and raised in Elk Grove, Cambi attended Sacramento State and...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With less than two weeks remaining before open enrollment for Covered California, there’s still concern people aren’t aware health insurance will soon be required.

With the countdown on, the group is hoping its ready for their call centers to open on Oct. 1 for the beginning of California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“We are learning every single day,” Covered California spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez said.

Hundreds of call center agents still need to be trained to answer the broad range of questions people across the state will have.

“People don’t buy a car on the first visit,” Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright.

The group says it isn’t expecting a lot of calls in October, because even with all of the TV ads and outreach, most Californians have no clue they’re required to have health insurance on Jan. 1.

People don’t know about this new option,” said Wright. “They won’t be able to use it.”

The group is bracing for some growing pains and hoping to learn from the inevitable mistakes.

Reports showing call volume, enrollment numbers and demographics will come in weekly showing who isn’t signing up and who may need the most help.

“For every day we don’t get people enrolled, that’s money in Washington, D.C., that’s not coming into our healthcare system,” Wright said.

Agents have been told they may have to work long hours to make sure they’re able to answer callers’ questions.

One of the big concerns of Covered California is making sure they have at least one person who speaks the language needed for calls they receive.

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