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Online Enrollment For Obamacare In California Flooded Despite Government Shutdown

KPBS Evening Edition

Online Enrollment For Obamacare In California Flooded Despite Government Shutdown

Aired 10/2/13 on KPBS News.

Covered California spokesman says goal is to register 2 million of the 5 million people without health insurance in state.

— Like a wave crashing on the shores of Ocean Beach, Covered California is officially open for business in San Diego despite the partial government shutdown.

Dr. Robert Ross, with the California Endowment and a Covered California board member, said a new online marketplace to shop for health insurance is now open across California, where 1-in-4 people have no access to health insurance.

"If you have health insurance, you're fine. If you have Medicare, you're fine. Obamacare doesn't affect you," Ross said. "If you're uninsured come to our website, check us out, comparison shop and buy an affordable product that works for your family."

Ross says the goal is to register 2 million of the 5 million uninsured people in California before enrollment ends March 31, no matter what the politicians in Washington are trying to do to stop it.

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"We're going to behave as if Washington is doing their own thing," Ross said. "We're going to do our thing and make Obamacare work ... for Californians and that's the best thing we can be held accountable for."

Online enrollment has already been flooded and there might be some delays, but Ross said to be patient.

"In addition there are 180,000 San Diegans that maybe eligible for subsidies and this gives these San Diegans a chance to access affordable healthcare," said Melissa Hayden-Cook, CEO of Sharp Health Plan, one of six plans offered under Covered California.

Enrollment at Covered CA.com is now open with coverage beginning on Jan. 1. The opening of healthcare exchanges throughout the country marks the biggest change in healthcare since Medicare was established nearly 50 years ago.

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