Frequently Asked Questions
When can I sign up for health insurance?
You can sign up during Open Enrollment, which usually runs from Nov 1st to Jan 31st (Dates may vary). Individuals with qualifying life events can enroll at any time of the year. Medi-Cal enrollment is also year-round.
How much will I pay for my health insurance plan through Covered California?
The best way to get a quick estimate of the price you would pay is to use our quoting tool or give us a call. The price is based on your estimated income for the coverage year, your ZIP code, your household size and your age. If you are a low- or moderate-income Californian, you may get help buying insurance from Covered California through monthly subsidies that lower your premium costs so that you pay less for top-quality, brand-name insurance. Call us to see if you qualify for a subsidy.
Will I be penalized if I don’t have health insurance?
Starting in 2020, California residents must either have qualifying health insurance coverage, pay a penalty when filing a state tax return or get an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. A typical family of four that goes uninsured for the whole year would face a penalty of at least $2,000. But with the new financial help, eligible households are getting an average of $504 per month, lowering their monthly premium by nearly half. That’s why it pays to see how affordable your coverage can be and avoid the penalty.
Do Immigrants qualify to purchase Health Coverage through Covered California?
Under the Affordable Care Act, most immigrants qualify for health coverage, including, but not limited, the following groups: Lawful permanent residents or (“green card holders”), lawful temporary residents, persons fleeing persecution, including refugees and asylees, other humanitarian immigrants, including those granted temporary protected status, and non-immigrant status holders (including worker visas and student visas). Lawfully present individuals who meet all other eligibility requirements, such as income requirements and California state residency, may be eligible for financial assistance to purchase a health insurance plan through Covered California. Or they may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal.
Can I have both a Covered California health plan and Medicare?
In general, people who are eligible for Medicare — even if they do not enroll in it — aren’t eligible to receive financial help (premium tax credits) to lower the cost of a Covered California health plan. People who are eligible for Medicare must report their Medicare eligibility to Covered California within 30 days and will usually need to cancel their Covered California plan. Your Covered California plan won’t be automatically canceled when you become eligible for Medicare, even if you enroll in a Medicare plan with the same insurance company.
If I am offered coverage at work, can I apply for a Covered California plan?
Employees who are offered health coverage by their employer that is affordable and that meets minimum value standards are NOT eligible for tax credits to help pay premiums for an individual Covered California health plan. Employees who are offered affordable and minimum value health coverage by their employer, may decline the employer-based coverage and purchase insurance through Covered California, but at the full cost without tax credits.
What options are there for pregnant women?
Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women is immediate and temporary coverage for low- income women who are pregnant and might be eligible for Medi-Cal. Full-scope Medi-Cal covers all medically necessary medical services, preventive services and dental services at no cost to eligible women. Pregnancy-related Medi-Cal covers all medically necessary pregnancy- related services for pregnant women who do not qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP) offers low-cost comprehensive coverage for pregnant women, with no copayments, deductibles or coinsurance, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
Can I purchase a plan through Covered California if I am being offered coverage through COBRA?
You can choose to enroll through COBRA or decide not to participate in COBRA and apply for special enrollment through Covered California since you will be newly uninsured.