Health

California expands health exchange call centers

In this file photo, Gina Macaluso, an employee of Covered California, the state's new health care exchange, provides health insurance at the opened call center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., in October. On Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, the exchange's executive director, Peter Lee, said he expected the hiring of 400 new call center workers to reduce wait times and improve the service for speakers of Spanish or other languages.
In this file photo, Gina Macaluso, an employee of Covered California, the state's new health care exchange, provides health insurance at the opened call center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., in October. On Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, the exchange's executive director, Peter Lee, said he expected the hiring of 400 new call center workers to reduce wait times and improve the service for speakers of Spanish or other languages.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Covering California series icon 2013

The executive director of California's health insurance exchange says he is hiring 400 call center workers with the goal of alleviating telephone backlogs that have frustrated applicants.

Covered California executive director Peter Lee said during a visit to a Fresno call center on Monday that he expects the added help to bring down the average wait time and to better serve speakers of Spanish and other languages. More than 250 people started work at the Fresno center on Monday, and Lee says the exchange will add another 150 workers there in coming weeks.

Covered California is the state's health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act. Since it was launched last fall, 625,000 Californian's have signed up. Open enrollment ends March 31, which Lee expects to be a busy month.