On hold for Covered California

Wait times for Covered California near an hourWaiting times to get help from the Obamacare operation in California remain near peak levels, with phone callers on hold for an average of more than 49 minutes in the latest reporting period.

The worst reported wait times were in the previous period — the final days of signup for insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1 — with callers on hold for an hour. Calls of up an hour and a half have been reported.

The shortest wait times since Covered California opened were all in October — the periods Oct. 13-19 (45 seconds), Oct. 6-12 (1 minute 55 seconds) and Oct. 27-Nov. 2 (2 minutes 21 seconds).

In November, phone call service center wait times ranged from 18 minutes to 25 minutes.

On-hold times rose steady in December and peaked as the month ended. Update: For the week of Jan. 4-11, the average wait time was 39:44. (text continues)

Covered California has said it’s adding phone center support staffers and bringing in more phone lines, although the worst of the problem seems to be in the recent past. Processing times have remained consistent — about 20 minutes on average.

In addition to those seeking coverage beginning Feb. 1 and the 1st of the next two months — in order to beat the March 31 deadline for healthcare mandate penalties — many callers are trying to resolve their billing issues, which remain a key problem for the Affordable Care Act operation and its affiliated carriers.

In its weekly statistics report, for the period Jan. 5-11, Covered California said unique visits its web site were 635,220. Phone call volume was just short of 76,000.

The number of enrollment applications started increased from 1,157,798 as of Jan. 5 to 1,280,710 through Jan. 11.

Here is a list of waiting times reported by Covered California since Oct. 1:

Jan. 5-11 — 49.20 wait time

Dec. 21-28 — 1:01

Dec 15-21 — 43:11

Dec 8-14 — 31:19

Dec 1-7 — 36:02

Nov. 24-30
— 25 mins

No. 17-23 — 18 mins

Nov. 10-16 — 24:51

Oct. 27-Nov. 2 — 2:21

Oct. 20-26 — 4:27

Oct. 13-19 — 0:45

Oct. 6-12
— 1:55

Oct. 1-5
— 15:08


  1. We live in San Luis Obispo County, and almost every doctor is boycotting the marketplace policies and refusing to take them! We have had Kaiser for 25 years but our Cobra is about to run out. We will likely be forced to pay more than triple for a private policy rather than get the SAME plan through the marketplace because we cannot find a good doctor who will take the insurance! What are we supposed to do?? This is a real mess! Very upset and disappointed!

    • I am a 20 something who 9 months ago (before “Obamacare”) did not have health insurance. I tried to get insurance last year but the insurance provider asked I get a physical first. The physical went great but the doctor suspected a carotid artery from a clicking sound he heard in my neck. He mentioned that on his report to the insurance company and I was labeled as a patient with a pre-existing condition! Needless to say I was denied coverage and found myself only able to qualify for sub-par coverage from anyone. A foreign doctor in an urgent care office … thanks but no thanks!

      Thank you “Obamacare” for allowing me to get good insurance!

      Save a little money and watch people like me die without coverage OR save the lives of some of your fellow Americans!

  2. Aprilis Aurora says:

    if we all tried to make it work it would
    each of us walking in everyone’s shoes
    assume goodness everywhere anyone could
    ask helpfully how, don’t demand what and whose

    i just wrote that because i think we can figure this out.

    listen people — i’m talking to you — the hardworking, the poor, the way too busy, the faithful, the selfless, the lazy, the fat, athiests, priests, firemen, artists, teachers, the self taught, trust fund kids, the schemers, the dreamers, the winners, the losers, the rich, the rude, the oblivious, the gullible, the feckless, the ignorant, the geniuses, the bloggers, the hedonists, the average joes, plain janes, your momma, your grandmomma, all y’all. we are all going to die. even the bankers. maybe especially.

    we are all going to die, so we all need access to health care — and before you rich people tune me out, remember, it isn’t good just because its expensive. life is precious. we don’t have the luxury anymore of wasting it. we don’t know who has the answers because we all do. we cannot say for sure where the solutions are coming from. we have to actually work together. really.

    we must make sure no american is uninsured …

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