Residents of California still have an opportunity to sign up for quality health insurance through Covered California and get financial help to lower the cost of their monthly premiums even though open enrollment ended on Jan. 31. Every year, Covered California allows people who have experienced a significant life event to sign up for coverage during special enrollment.
“Californians can still protect themselves and their families with quality health insurance for the rest of the year, if they have had a major change in their lives,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “If you have recently lost your coverage, gotten married, had a baby, or have been affected by California’s winter storms, visit CoveredCA.com to check out what plans are available to you.”
Special-Enrollment Period For California’s Winter Storms
In response to the recent historic winter storms in California and the state of emergency declared by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Covered California created a new qualifying life event for those who were affected. Californians have 60 days from the date the state of emergency was declared — or through March 5, 2023 — to sign up for coverage.
Consumers who sign up will benefit from the lower costs now available due to the increased and expanded financial help provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. Right now, more than nine out of every 10 Covered California enrollees qualify for financial help because of the expanded and increased subsidies, and more than two-thirds of consumers are able to get comprehensive coverage for less than $10 a month.
“The storms disrupted the lives of thousands of people across the state, and we want to make sure that those affected know that they can still get financial help to make it easier to afford a quality health insurance plan,” Altman said. “Californians come together when disaster strikes, and one way we can help our friends and neighbors is by making sure they have the access to the care that they need.”
Additional Qualifying Life Events
Covered California also released a new television ad, entitled “Life Takes a Turn,” to illustrate some of the most common reasons that someone would be eligible for special enrollment, such as losing health coverage, getting married, having a baby, permanently moving to California, or moving within California.
In addition, there are qualifying life events that are available due to the public health emergency and the Inflation Reduction Act. These include:
You or a family member have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
You have a household income under 150 percent of the federal poverty level, which is less than $20,385 for an individual and $41,625 for a family of four. Eligible consumers in this income bracket would qualify for a Silver 94 plan, the best coverage available through Covered California, at no cost.
There are many other qualifying events; for more information on those, visit www.CoveredCA.com.
Consumers can apply for a health plan, or make changes to their current plan, if they have experienced one of these qualifying life events, usually within the last 60 days.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs.
Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program. Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature.