Team 10 Troubleshooter Healthcare Hotline opens this evening

Questions answered on phones and on social media

SAN DIEGO - California’s insurance exchange is so far more successful than any insurance exchange operating under the new healthcare law, according to a state official. But millions of uninsured people still have questions and Team 10 is ready to help answer them with a special hotline and social media session Friday evening.

Since it launched, Covered California said 30,830 people signed up for health insurance plans in October, and 29,000 people enrolled in the first nine days of November, according to figures released by exchange leaders in Sacramento this week.

Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Peter Lee, executive director, of Covered California, held a news conference to say leaders are happy with the number of participants so far.

“The word of a positive experience is quickly spreading,” Lee said.

Roughly 2,000 people enrolling each day Lee said, after people used October to compare plans, prices and explore financial assistance options.

But Covered California still is far below its goal of having half a million people buy coverage by March 31, when the open enrollment period ends.

Mostly older people with  pre-existing health conditions have signed up so far, Lee said. Younger, healthier people will begin signing up once they understand how it works, he said.

According to numbers provided by Covered California, 69 percent of enrollees said the process was easy, while 31 percent found it difficult.

That’s where the Team 10 Troubleshooter can help. The Healthcare Hotline is today during 10News at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00, closing at 7:30 p.m.

Readers and viewers also can submit questions through our Facebook page, and on Twitter, using #healthcareSD.

Certified healthcare reform specialists will be available to answer questions on how to navigate and understand Covered California options including: Bill Hammett and Kara Voelker from Teague Financial Insurance Services (teaguefs.com); Jeromy White from William J. King and Associates (kingbenefits.com); Craig Gussin from Auerbach & Gussin Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. (auerbachandgussin.com); Barry Codgill from Business Choice Insurance Services (insurancehelper.org); Terri Carver from 5th Ave. Insurance (5thaveins.com).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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