To combat the rate of uninsured residents in California, the Covered California program was introduced to provide access to quality healthcare to as many people as possible. Nowadays, many more are receiving affordable health insurance. As a Covered California provider, the team from Good and Associates Insurance Services has helped many obtain the affordable healthcare they need.
However, Covered California enrollment can be a little confusing, so we wanted to break down the process for you here and answer any questions you might have.
How to Apply for Covered California Health Insurance
Before getting too deep into the details, we first wanted to go over how you can apply for Covered California enrollment. There are several ways you can do so, first by searching for Covered California insurance quotes online, as well as applying by phone (1-877-752-4737), working with one of the agents from Good and Associates Insurance Services, or visiting a local Covered California storefront location.
There are two enrollment periods for Covered California, they are:
Open Enrollment: This enrollment period is a three-month window when anyone can either switch health plans or apply for Covered California for the first time.
Special Enrollment: The special enrollment period is when one enrolls any time outside of the designated open enrollment period. To be eligible for special enrollment, you’ll need to have a qualifying life event, meaning losing your current healthcare or job, having or adopting a child, getting married, and other life-changing events. For those who were unable to enroll during the open enrollment period due to technical issues, you’ll also be eligible for special enrollment.
Covered California Application Deadlines
The deadline for applying for a Covered California plan occurs on the 15th of every month. After applying for a Covered California plan, your health coverage will take effect on the first of the following month. However, if you enroll late, your coverage will begin later and there will likely be a waiting period.
- Who Can Apply? Anyone who is a U.S. citizen and resident of California can apply.
- How Do I Know if I’m Eligible? As long as you’re a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or lawfully present immigrant, you’re eligible for Covered California.
- When Should I Apply? To avoid any lapse in coverage, it’s always best to apply during one of the designated enrollment periods, either the Open Enrollment Period or the Special Enrollment Period.
- What Information Do I Need for My Application? To apply for Covered California you’ll need to have your current income information at hand, as well as all of your personal information and tax filing status.
- What Kinds of Questions Are on the Application? The types of questions you’ll be asked on your Covered California application include your proof of income (pay stub), your proof of legal residence or citizenship (a U.S. passport or valid U.S. passport card), your proof of California residency (a valid California driver’s license), and proof of minimum essential coverage (such as a termination of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan).
- Are There Health-Related Questions on the Application? No, you won’t be asked to share any information about your current health status.
- How Long Does the Application Process Take? For individuals, the application process normally takes around 20 minutes; for families, around an hour.
What You Need to Know About Covered California in 2021
When it comes to applying for Covered California enrollment in 2021, there are a few things you should be aware of, including:
- Access to New Plans
This year, you may have access to new healthcare plans that weren’t available before. The carriers this year include Oscar Health Plan of California, Valley Health Plan, L.A. Care Health Plan, Molina Healthcare, Western Health Advantage, Health Net, Sharp Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Chinese Community Health Plan, Blue Shield of California, and Anthem Blue Cross of California.
- Prices are Increasing Slightly
According to a recent Covered California press release, plan prices are increasing by the lowest rates in history, but you’ll still see an average increase of around 0.6%.
- More Financial Aid Will Be Available
For those struggling to pay for their Covered California plan, there will be additional financial aid available. This year, there will be approximately 1 million people eligible for subsidies, including more than 200,000 middle-income people who weren’t eligible in past years. It can potentially lower healthcare costs up to hundreds of dollars each month for those who qualify.
- The Tax Penalty is Back
Previously there was a tax penalty for anyone in the state that was uninsured and in 2021, this penalty is returning. The exact amount is based on the size of your family and comes out to $725 for each adult and $375 for each child. So, the precise amount you’ll owe is determined by the number of uninsured people in your household, how old each uninsured person is, as well as your annual income and tax threshold.
Contact us for Covered California Enrollment
Good and Associates Insurance Services has helped many find the perfect Covered California plan for them. If you have any questions about coverage or plans, we’d love to help you work through them. In addition to our Covered California services, we also offer Medicare solutions, as well as group and individual health insurance.
For those looking to supplement their current insurance coverage, Good and Associates Insurance Services offers affordable dental plans and life insurance for those who desire an added layer of coverage on top of their current healthcare plans.
As a certified partner of Covered California, we can accurately determine the insurance needs of you or your business stipulated by the state and federal government. We also work with nearly every health insurance company in California, so contact us online today or call 1 (800) 429-9900 or (909) 613-0056.