The deadline to begin a healthcare application without a penalty with Covered California is Monday, March 31.
Sunday, the Sacramento Covered office was swamped with last minute insurance shoppers who needed help signing up.
“If you haven’t started an application you’ll pay a penalty. Either $95 which is the minimum. Up to 1% of their gross salary, up to $285,” said Program Director Lorena Sanchez.
Sanchez said her staff members served 60-70 people on Saturday and another 60-70 on Sunday. The average wait time by 2 p.m. Sunday was three hours.
“A lot of people are finding it’s difficult to navigate and figure out what different tiers and plans they’re interested in,” said Sanchez.
“It is difficult, but we need it,” said Salvador Villegas.
He waited three hours and counting to sign his family of seven up for health care.
Villegas has five children and a wife who recently had heart complications.
“She stay for two days in the hospital. I try to sign up before but I don’t know. I don’t know how to pay the big bill,” said Villegas.
For all of those who haven’t signed up online and didn’t make it in to Sacramento Covered today, you have not lost your chance to get help. The Sacramento Covered office at 8928 Volunteer Lane is open Monday from 9 a.m.-6p.m.
“We’re a part of history. You know a lot of families that had pre-existing conditions that would not have been able to get coverage. Now they can,” said Sanchez.
In addition a 17-Hour Healthcare Enroll-a-thon will be held Monday, March 31 at 1911 F Street in Sacramento. The event runs from 7 a.m. to midnight.