California expands health exchange call centers

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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.

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