I left my fulltime job in August (hooray) and decided to apply for health insurance through the California exchange, CoveredCA. I was able to sign up for a Kaiser Permanente Bronze high-deductible plan, and the web site said it would submit my info to Kaiser and that Kaiser would bill me directly. The deadline for paying the bill and thus being enrolled was 4 business days before the end of the month. My application was submitted near the beginning of September; coverage according to the web site was scheduled to start October 1st.
Well, so far I've gotten a confirmation letter from CoveredCA saying that I'm qualified to sign up for a health plan (which the web site had already told me), but have heard nothing from Kaiser. I've been calling Kaiser every few days to see if I'm in their system so I can pay my premium. A couple reps have said this slowness is unfortunately normal, it can take 4-6 weeks for coveredca to send the info.
I've also been calling CoveredCA every few days. If I call right when the phone lines open at 8am, it seems I can usually wait on hold for an hour and eventually get a rep. During the day, several times they've just played a recording that says they're experiencing high call volumes and to try again later, goodbye. The coveredca reps have been unable to say why Kaiser doesn't have my info yet (they recommend I keep calling Kaiser), but the last rep said he'd submit a ticket to escalate my case to a supervisor, who might be able to contact me in a week or so.
In a couple of weeks, my special enrollment period of 60 days from my loss of health insurance is going to run out. No idea whether that will invalidate my application. My backup plan is if I haven't heard anything a few days before that, to apply for COBRA and hope that I don't have to pay the COBRA premium before the CoveredCA issue gets resolved. I could also pay the COBRA premium and try to sign up for CoveredCA again during open enrollment in November. I predict much confusion if that happens. Plus, the COBRA premiums would be twice as costly as the CoveredCA Bronze Plan (no subsidies).
Overall, my experience with the California exchange has been pretty frustrating so far. Just wanted to share a data point.
If anyone does have any ideas for other things to try, I'm all ears.