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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.

How to Handle Paper App Backlog?

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Question: I have submitted over 100 paper applications by mail and fax since Oct 1st. I have yet to get confirmation or any other response from Covered California. What can I do?

Answer: You should start seeing them as new delegation notices in your agent account on Covered California in the next day or so. Covered California staff are are creating online accounts for applicants who already submitted paper applications. All CC is doing is creating the account and delegating the writing agent. The agent will have to complete the applications online from their copy of the paper application. A Covered California spokesperson told me that if delegation notices are not showing up in an agent’s portal by Friday morning, “agents should create a new account for that applicant and enter the entire application online”.


So what in the world is going on with these people. I have to have a PIN before I can purchase my plan. I have written 4 emails, waiting 2 hours for a live chat (then was told there was no agent to talk to me) called the phones numbers and one tells me to go the website then hangs up and the other just hangs up. Today is the deadline to get covered for 2/1/2014 coverage. Not going to happen. I’m being held hostage by the inadequte system. Where do we go from here? I guess we will all be penalized and charge fees because we couldn’t get our applications complete.

Covered CA remained their lack of communications with the insured. Agent portal summary status is lack of information ( they should look at how Blue Shield or other insurance companied showing application status ) Insured already selected a health plan on paper app, but once Covered CA inputs into the system, their contingent eligibility status asking to select a plan again if you dig into the view application. Then you will need to enter PIN and btw there is nothing on paper application asked to make up a PIN. We tried last 4digits of SSI, not working. Insured has to call 1-800-300-1506 to find out what is their PIN. As we know people are spending hours and hours to work around with this BROKEN system.

My own sister applied back in Nov, her name has not shown on my agent portal, I faxed her application again few days ago and then she got an email from Blue Shield, click here to pay for your premium on Jan 10, 13 to meet the deadline Jan 15, 13. Does it mean that she is paying for the whole January premium, which half month already gone. I read the news that refund for the passed days are not possible. This is another error of the BROKEN system, causing insurers, insured, and agents with everybody involved much headache.

How much human effort can meet up with such a challenge? Here are only a couple facts…

I’ve been trying to apply with Covered CA since October. At the end of the application , it asks for an electronic signature or electronic PIN. What do I put? It’s not the same as the password you make up at the beginning to open the account. And it’s not a new password to make up either. Does anyone else know what’s supposed to be used as an electronic signature?

What is the Document ID when you go to enter the application in to the agent portal??

It is Dec. 15 and the system will not accept the pin. I tried to reset the pin and it tells me my Personal info is wrong.
I need a new pin to submit apps.

I’m just starting to do online registration and one of the first questions is DocumentID # where do I get that or what is that?

And after “suggest”ing CIAs enter data from Paper Apps online because they are so overwhelmed and “arent’ we all just excited over the volume of business…. blah blah….They release the names/contact info of people who might have been just exploring what this CovCA On/Off exchange stuff is all about- no doubt just to their favored agents and brokerage agencies. Cov CA can not even keep up with what apps they have already received and now they are reaching out for more? They preached all the privacy stuff that we long timers are very familiar with during all the disjointed training- and then THEY share contact info of people who never requested contact? Shameful.

Does anyone have any idea if anyone of authority at COV CA is monitoring this board? They should be because perhaps they might learn something- witless wonders that they are. Yes sorry but I can’t contain myself ….In the details following the 12/6th email in which they “suggest” agents might enter paper applications online - since they are too incompetent to do so themselves: How about providing exactly WHAT information is required for the ONLINE application that would not have been already obtained/submitted in PAPER application- so perhaps-DUH- agents might obtain that info ahead of time instead of trying to contact the applicant when attempting to enter the information online- which might be in the middle of the night or at some odd hours when it is not appropriate to be calling a client?

In a message dated 12/6/2013 5:05:41 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, agents@covered.ca.gov writes: 3. Personal Tax Information – More information is requested on the “Personal Data - Tax Information” screen than is collected on the paper application. When you get to the Tax Information screen, you will need to call the consumer to obtain the mandatory information to continue processing their application.

Now that we have submitted over 100 paper applications. We are told basically we need to now submit the applications on line. This put our agency in a very liable situation. Will coveredca honor the application requested effective date of January 1 even if we are not able to log all the applications before December 23 2013. This ability to submit applications online is hit and miss and can sometimes take hours. This may not even be possible.

Agents were just emailed that Cov Cal expects us to input application information for the paper applications we have been submitting!!!??? Why can’t Cov Cal admit they have blown it by not having enough staff to handle the applications? Before we can do this, the system needs to be working. It isn’t. There must be a better way.

I have submitted around forty paper applications because the Covered CA website did not work. I have not received one notice of a single paper application being assigned to me. Tonight I receive an email stating that the brokers will now be responsible for converting all these paper applications to online apps. This is an impossible request. There is no way that we can deal with all the problems this mess has created and spend days converting these applications at the eleventh hour. Can you please provide some leadership?

Unfortunately I don’t know how to reset your PIN if you’ve forgotten it. I guess you have to call the agent line but there will most likely be 150 calls ahead of you. I do almost all my CoveredCA work at home in the evening or first thing in the morning as it’s much easier to get through the site. As far as creating a username, password and PIN for a client … I say do it. Choose five security questions (which are all ridiculous by the way) and make up five answers. Email all the questions and answers to the client and keep a copy in your files. Every app I’ve done through CoveredCA has asked for a copy of the applicant’s social security card and a copy of their passport or birth certificate. Are others getting this message too? (It’s in the letter that appears in the client’s secure mailbox after completing the app.). I’m planning to remind my clients quarterly to compare their actual income with what they predicted and to notify CC if there is a change. Thanks for this forum, Phil. It’s helpful to see what others are doing.

I’m not sure if I understood your question correctly but when you create your agent account, you set up a pin number. That’s the number you enter with every client e-signature.

Yes we as CIAgents have user name PW and PIN…So if we are to set up and account for applicants online because COV CA is too incompetent to do the work they have been paid to do- Do we make up a User name, PW and PIN for each individual? And as I recall when setting up my agents account- and the only two online apps I have been able to assist clients with ( only times the website did not hang or crash or be incapable of retaining info in Save & Exit)- about 5 Security questions/answers were required when setting up account. So do we CIAgents have to make up this stuff too? Or re-meet with clients and hope and pray the system does work?? I actually had one phone bank person at CovCA suggest we may want to do online stuff in middle of night so we wouldn’t be clogging the site while they were too during their working hours. I kid you not. Is that what it has come to? Should I invite clients who already spent time with me over failed attempts to apply online and ultimately lots of paperwork - to have a sleep over with me? RIDICULOUS. Does anyone at Cov CA see how dysfunctional they are?

There has been NO official notification/request/demand from CovCA that Agents have to input the data from Apps that were submitted via paper ( FAX or MAIL). However just curious if it comes to that I logged in to my Agent site and looked at the Start of what might need to be entered: How many members are in the household? * How did you hear about Covered California? Source of Application? * Select OneEmailFaxMailPhone
Document ID *
Date of Application? *
The first 3 questions can be answered but WHAT IS DOCUMENT ID referring to? and Does one enter the original DATE OF APPLICATION or ???

Covered CA still has the application online. How do we know they are going to make us redo the applications. See above comments. CAHU “learned” about it. But did not give a citation?

Sarah, How do we find out what our pin was if we forgot it? When I click on “forgot pin” I get an oracle access manger operation manager error.

You, as an agent, have a 4 number PIN that you selected when you set up your agent account. Anyone that creates a username and password on CoveredCA also has a 4 number PIN.

I submitted some paper apps via FAX when attempting to assist a client online at my office failed due to glitches/hangs/inability to save info once entered. Last week 11/26th received an email:An Important Message about Paper Applications

Covered California is excited by the overwhelming support agents have had in the individual market. The number of paper applications you have submitted to our service center has far exceeded our expectations! Unfortunately, we have experienced some system issues which has caused a backlog of applications to be processed. We have identified the fixes; streamlined the processing time, and have added additional staff at our service center.

Paper applications that have been submitted either via U.S. mail or faxed have been received by our service centers and are being processed. Certified Insurance Agents that have submitted paper applications to Covered California will begin to see these on their agent portal dashboard as early as this afternoon. We encourage you to please be patient and to check your portal over the next few days as we process the backlog. We ask that all questions regarding the status of submitted applications be held until next week.

IF THERE IS ANY TRUTH to agents soon being asked to DO THE WORK OF COV CA salaried or hourly employees- Their Powers that be are indeed CLUELESS Incompetent IDIOTS. Really- we print out all the ridiculous amount of paperwork to submit a PAPER app ONLY BECAUSE the website keeps crashing/hanging and NOW we MAY be asked to input that info FOR THEM because THEY have not figured out how to manage the workload. If the website STILL HANGS CRASHES and fails to SAVE information- WHAT DO THEY THINK WILL HAPPEN if 1000s of agents are trying to put stuff in to system? I have been an insurance agent for nearly 40 years. Never have I experienced such a DISCONNECT between my attempts to HELP Clients and the counterproductive roadblocks of another entity- in this case Covered CA.

When I,as an agent, started a new application from my agent account by “add new individual” for my client, it asks about the PIN in the signature page, so what the PIN is ? Nobody ever set a PIN when the application is added/started by an agent ? or meaning the clients still have to open an account themselves even an agent already can “add new individual”?

I agree… Worst of all their site doesn’t even work.

Entering dozens (or more) current paper applications from my client files is somewhat time consuming and unappealing to me. won’t the faxed and mailed in applications eventually show up in the system and be processed? AND, if submitted before Dec. 15th and just delayed in the system, won’t they be given a Jan. 1 eff. date retroactively, by law?

I have an account that has been entered from paper. When I try to complete it, it asks for my clients signature and a pin #. Is there an agent pin that I’m supposed to have? If so, how do I reset it?

This makes NO sense! One of the applicants that they added to my account has already been notified that they have been approved for a subsidy…yet I have to reenter their information on my end? What is the point of that?!?!

And I have to enter a PIN when I electronically sign the application. What is the PIN for all of these applications?

This is a waste of time.

Now not only is Covered California incompetent, but now they’re A-holes to previously say do a paper application when their systems were failing, and now they are forcing a complete online re-entry of information.

Covered California will not extend 2013 plan coverage, nor extend for a year their mandate to terminate 2013 policies on Jan 1st, 2014, and now they won’t generally extend filing deadlines. So everyone is out of time, and they are forcing double entry of info for applications.

Then payment still has to be submitted on time, assuming processing actually happens in time.

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