Last year’s inaugural open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act wasn’t without incident. The federal website that served as the interface for many potential health insurance buyers failed to operate for the first few weeks and most people put off purchasing insurance until the enrollment deadline in March. And that left those in charge of implementing Obamacare wondering whether enough new consumers would sign up. In the end, President Obama declared the ACA’s rollout a success, citing above-expected enrollment numbers. So now it’s time for round two.
Open enrollment for the ACA begins this Saturday. And even though most people expect this enrollment period to go a lot smoother, that doesn’t mean the leaders of California’s health benefit exchange, Covered California, aren’t taking a few precautions to ensure success. Covered California’s Deputy Director for Public Relations Dana Howard is currently on a nine-day, 21-city bus tour with executive director Peter Lee to publicize the start of the open enrollment period. From that tour in L.A., Howard joins us to explain how Covered California plans to increase this year’s enrollment and how this year’s open enrollment will be different from last year’s.