SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Californians who were unable to log on to the Covered California web site Monday because of technical difficulties have been granted a reprieve.
On Monday, a record number of people - more than 320,000 - logged on to the Obamacare web site specifically designed for Californians. This tsunami of users overwhelmed the system, preventing thousands from even beginning the sign-up process.
Those attempting - unsuccessfully - to enroll in Obamacare through Covered California now have the option to work with a certified enrollment counselor to help them navigate the system. They will have until April 15 to complete the process. Go to www.coveredca.com for more information.
Those Californians who managed to at least begin the sign-up process, making it through the verification process by March 31, will have until April 15 to finish enrolling. They can complete it on their own, if they wish.
"We are seeing record setting unprecedented numbers. Total enrollment in just the last week is about 156,000 people," said Covered California Spokesperson Anne Gonzales
That brought the total number of Californians who have signed up to more than 1.2 million. As the deadline gets closer, 211 call centers have been flooded with questions about the health law.
"One day out of nowhere something happens. And you need that coverage. You need that care. You shouldn't hesitate to be covered, to be able to get the health care you need," explained Gary Rotto with the Council of Community Clinics.
"Any system, no matter how carefully you plan is going to get slower with these types of numbers," Gonzales added.
"We also want them to be in compliance with the law so they, on a positive side can get the health care they need and are looking for and avoid the penalty that the fed would impose on them for not having insurance," continued Rotto.
As for those penalties, if you don't sign up it will cost you $95, or one percent of your annual income, and the fee increases from there.
Even though 1.2 million people have signed up, Covered California reports that more than a million people are in the middle of filling out their applications so they expect the total number of people to go up significantly by April 15th.