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California says 14,500 must redo Obamacare applications after glitch

California's health insurance exchange said about 14,500 people have to redo their online applications for Obamacare coverage because of a software error.

The state's announcement late Friday comes shortly after a five-day outage of the Covered California enrollment website.

About 14,500 people who partially completed applications or updated them Feb. 17-19 -- just before the website went down -- have to either start over or resubmit any changes they made, the exchange said.

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Covered California said it will contact the affected consumers and help them complete the sign-up process by March 15 for coverage that takes effect April 1.

“We regret any inconvenience this has caused,” Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said in a statement. “Our enrollment website has been up and running this week, and we look forward to helping consumers get the health coverage they want.”

The lost information and website glitches come at a tough time for the exchange, which is in the midst of a final enrollment blitz before the March 31 sign-up deadline. The state had been signing up more than 7,000 people per day, on average, in February.

Covered California said completed applications for an additional 6,500 people were also affected by the software troubles. But the state said that it is restoring the data and that those people don't need to take any additional steps.

The exchange is also working to restore information on 16,000 people who were deemed eligible for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program for the poor. They are to be contacted by the exchange as needed.

Covered California attributed the website problems to a "software malfunction during a planned maintenance outage" this month. 

Through mid-February, Covered California had enrolled 828,638 people in private health plans as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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Twitter: @skarlamangla

soumya.karlamangla@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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