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Saturday April 19th 2014

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California Trains Helpers To Meet Demand For Health Insurance

CoveredCaliforniaThe California health exchange has focused on drumming up interest in coverage during the first month of operation. Certified enrollment counselors can barely keep up with the requests for assistance that are rolling in. SEIU is using some of the money to call people in their homes at night and on the weekend. “Over 4,000 (people) have said tell me more about Covered California and how can I enroll to get health insurance,” Blue says of the union’s first two weeks on the case. But once people are primed to enroll, the handoff to counselors who can help Californians sign up for coverage has been rocky. Many counselors are still attending training, or awaiting background checks and state-issued licenses. Some just need a computer login. The month of October was always supposed to be about drumming up interest, says Peter Lee, Covered California’s executive director. The state never intended, he says, to have all counselors certified this early according to a recent post at kuhf.org.