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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

What If I Can't Get Certified by October 1?

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Question: I was totally confused and frustrated by the exchange certification process, pre-registration, registration, pending, and so on. Now I’m finally ready to take a class and there’s nothing available until the end of the month. What if I can’t get certified by October 1?

Answer: Covered California will temporarily certify all licensed agents for the month of October. That’s because the Agent Agreements won’t be ready for signing until sometime in October.


I also attended the Sept 7th training in Fresno. It was what I expected. Lots of unanswered questions, we will have to learn as we go.The SHOP lines will be backed up as we wait to have our questions answered. I did the online training also and it says I am certified, but I have not received an email with the agent agreement or instructions on how to pay.With 12 days to go until Oct.1st, it doesn’t leave much time to order new business cards or advertise that we are certified.

I had the same experience at the Fresno training on September 7. The instructor’s real job is teaching licensing and continuing education courses but she could not answer a question that was not on the slide. We covered the content in six hours but were required to stay for the whole eight hours so she just dragged everything out. The frustrating part is that the training never goes into specifics. There are breaks every hour plus a lunch break so we did have time to get to know our fellow agents. The only way we’re going to find out how the exchange really works is when it opens on October 1 and we actually go through the process. The slide at the training that really summed up this whole mess said something like “if you suspect fraud you may make an anonymous call and the call won’t be traced but we do need you to leave your contact information so that we may conduct a thorough investigation.” Of course everyone howled with laughter.

How do we get some real training from Covered California?

I went to the Covered California Agent Certification training #2, in Culver City last Friday Sept 6th.

What silliness! The trainer (not from Covered California, but a private top Life agent) knew nothing about health insurance! Basically read the slides, copies of which we were provided on a thumb drive. The audience, agents, turned on him hard.

Luckily Rich (last name?) from SHOP was there who addressed many questions during the breaks as we crowded around him for needed clarifications.

Where’s the real training for those who care about their clients (and their own business protection), rather than passing the Covered California certification test as the expressed base of importance?

For Example: No training but for brief general timing-based mention on tough issues like: what will happen if a member is on Medi-Cal and then due to income and eligibility and determination at the end of the year, or middle of the year, that this person should have been on subsidized CC plan, and/or even a non-subsidized plan?

There are many difficult and as of yet unaddressed specific scenarios which we agents need to know, which were completely left unaddressed in so called ‘training’.

When I call the Covered California consumer line, and when I call the SHOP line for agents, I have to help the reps come up to speed on correct information. Getting clarification and answers to my questions of basic enrollment to unique scenarios queries has resulted twice in Covered California saying a manager will call me back with the info/answer. Doesn’t happen, no calls yet…

Here we go!

Thank you for your invaluable site and addressing our concerns.

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