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No Need For Haste In Signing Up For Covered California

— Some consumers have encountered long wait times and other glitches on Covered California, the state’s new online health insurance exchange. But officials say there’s no need for people to panic.

If you haven't already signed up for health insurance on Covered California, don't worry. Consumers have until Feb. 15 to enroll in a plan.

Officials at Covered California admit there were some problems with their website and call centers during the first week of October.

But since then, the exchange has been all systems go. In fact, the online marketplace has processed more than 16,000 applications for health insurance since Oct. 1.

Tracy Ream directs Neighborhood Healthcare, a network of 10 community clinics in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

She said people don’t have to sign up right away.

“Nobody has to get locked into their insurance tomorrow, they’re not going to be kept out of it because they wait a month," Ream explained. "You have several months to be able to do that.”

Federal officials say people have until Feb. 15 to enroll in a plan. If they miss the deadline, consumers will have to pay a penalty to the IRS.

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