California extends deadline to purchase health insurance

Close-up of logo on paper for Covered California, the State subsidized health insurance exchange and Medicaid administrator for the state of California, August 22, 2019. ((Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images))

Californians have a little more time to purchase health insurance plans that take effect with the new year.

Sunday was the original deadline to purchase insurance plans from Covered California that take effect Jan. 1. But state officials announced Monday that they have extended the deadline through Friday.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said officials extended the deadline after seeing a strong surge in enrollment last week.

Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace. Some people who purchase plans through Covered California are eligible to get help paying their monthly premiums.

Next year, California has increased the amount of subsidies available for some people. Plus, the state will begin taxing people who don’t have health insurance. Together, state officials said those two things have driven a 16% increase in new enrollments through Covered California.

The final deadline to purchase health insurance through Covered California is Jan. 31. Plans purchased after Friday’s deadline won’t take effect until Feb. 1.