Apply for Obama Care California

How to Apply For Obamacare in California

The Open Enrollment Period for 2018 began on November 1, 2017, and runs through December 15, 2017. Under Obamacare, you only have a set period to sign up for health insurance so you can avoid paying the penalty for non-compliance. Below, we’ll give you a few useful tips on how to apply for Obamacare in California.

Enrolling Through Covered California

There are many ways to apply for coverage through the health insurance marketplace, Covered California. You may:

  1. Apply online
  2. Apply by phone
  3. Apply in person
  4. Apply by mail

Online Applications

When you choose to apply online for Obamacare, the process is usually much more straightforward. Covered California is designed to streamline your enrollment process. All you have to do is fill out a virtual Obamacare application form, and you’ll receive immediate results regarding your eligibility. The system will also tell you if you qualify for medical assistance or federal programs like Medicaid. Once you see your available options, you can browse through them and choose the one that suits you best.

Phone Applications

There are customer care representatives available 24/7 to help you fill out and apply. Similar to the online applications, once you fill out an application with the help of the representative, you’ll be given your available options. The customer representative will then help you choose and apply for coverage.

Mail Applications

You can’t enroll in a plan through the mail, but you can begin the process of applying this way. Instructions for filling out paper forms are available on the Covered California website, and you can mail the completed form directly to the state health insurance exchange. Once you send your application, you can expect to receive eligibility results within a week or two. After getting the results, apply online or call a customer representative to help you enroll.

In-Person Applications

In California, you may find assistance at insurance agencies or a local broker’s office. You could also contact an agent who specializes in Obamacare. On the Covered California website, you can enter your ZIP code to find a list of places where you can get in-person help. These centers have health insurance agents who can explain your options, answer your questions and suggest the best plan for you.

Obamacare Special Enrollment Period

You may be able to apply for Obamacare outside of the open enrollment period if you experience a qualifying life event. A qualifying life event gives you a 60-day time frame to apply for health insurance through the marketplace. Qualifying life events include:

  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Losing your essential health coverage
  • Being released from prison
  • Changing citizenship status

How you enroll during this period depends on whether you have marketplace coverage. Those without marketplace coverage will begin the application process for the first time by filling out the application form and allowing the system to generate available plans for them. If you already have marketplace coverage, you’ll only need to log in to your account and update your information to go through the application process as usual.

The open enrollment period in California will continue through December 15, 2017. Residents with questions can contact us for help at (707) 571-7590 or visit the Covered California website at

Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.

Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.

Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.

Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.