Apply for Covered California Health Insurance

The Covered California application process is fairly quick and easy. You can sign up online through the Covered California website. Or, you can get live assistance and enroll in person with an agent, assister, navigator or certified enrollment counselor. Or, you may print a PDF paper form of the application (in English, Spanish, Chinese or other languages) to apply by fax or mail.

Use the following options to Apply for a Covered California plan:

Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment

Applying with Covered California differs depending on whether you are enrolling during Open Enrollment or not. Covered California Open Enrollment 2017 begins November 1, 2016 and ends January 31, 2017. During this time, you may apply or switch plans without a qualifying life event. However, outside of this window during the Special Enrollment Period, you will need a qualifying life event in order to apply.

Covered California Apply Deadline: The 15th of the Month

If you enroll with Covered California by the 15th of the month, your health plan will go into effect on the 1st of the next month. This is true during Open Enrollment as well as during the Special Enrollment Period with a couple exceptions. If you apply between November 1st and November 15th as an Open Enrollment Application, your coverage will start on January 1st. Also, if you apply during the Special Enrollment Period and your life event is “Loss of Coverage”, then you may apply up until the last day of the month and still begin your coverage on the first of the next month.

Questions about the Application

Frequently asked questions about applying with Covered California include the following:

  • How can I get live assistance? – See above.
  • What information do I need to apply? – You will need income information and Social Security Numbers for each person in the household.
  • How long does that application take? – It usually takes individuals less than 30 minutes and families less than an hour.
  • What questions are on the application? – When applying, you will answer questions related to your contact information, taxes, citizenship or legal status, and income.
  • Are there questions related to health conditions? – No.
  • Is there a question related to smoking? – No, information related to smoking is not asked or required on the California application.

Why Can’t I Apply?

Some individuals have had difficulty applying with Covered California for varying reasons. If you try to enroll during the Special Enrollment Period, you will have to have a life event or you will not be able to apply. However, the #1 reason many can’t apply is because they are still enrolled on Medi-Cal. California consumers have often tried to enroll with Covered California only to be denied coverage because they have not cancelled their Medi-Cal coverage. In these cases, you will need to contact Medi-Cal to straighten things out before you will be able to apply with Covered California.

 

by Wendy Barnett

When you have lost your job, your medical insurance from your employer can end, too.  Being without work can be a stressful time, but understanding your health insurance options doesn’t have to be. There are 4 important things to know when you have lost your job health insurance:

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Posted: April 7th, 2017 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Wendy Barnett

Are you moving, planning on moving, or have you recently moved?

Qualifying Life Events (QLE) are big life occurrences called triggering life events that allow you to enroll in individual or family health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment Period. There is a whole list of life events that can be applicable, but this article will cover moving.

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Posted: March 31st, 2017 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Wendy Barnett

Uninsured Californian’s are receiving notices from the IRS urging them to get health insurance so that they will not have to pay a tax penalty. Notices went out in December ’16 and January ’17; and are the first time the IRS is reaching out to uninsured consumers since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Consumers are being reminded that they can still apply for Obama Care during the a...

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Posted: January 26th, 2017 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Wendy Barnett

Did you forget to apply for your health insurance for January 1st?  Or maybe you encountered difficulties submitting your application and could not get the assistance you needed to complete it. Don’t worry, you still have time to apply for Covered California. Open Enrollment is still open!

<...

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Posted: January 12th, 2017 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Jessica Howland

Local Assistance Expanded

On November 17th the Covered California Website, released the new Help On-Demand tool for consumers looking for local assistance at the click of a button. This tool has been added this year on top of the already success...

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Posted: November 30th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

By John Hansen

Covered California’s Open Enrollment began on November 1, and the State Exchange kicked off their 2017 tour this weekend, Saturday, November 12 in San Diego. The tour will continue through major areas of California and will conclude in Santa Cruz on November 19.

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Posted: November 11th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Jessica Howland

Today marks the start of Covered California’s 4th annual Open Enrollment Period for the 2017 benefit year. Mark your calendar! The dates for this year’s “Open Season” as some are calling it are:

November 1st-January 31

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Posted: November 1st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Esmeralda Mercado

Effective January 1st 2017, most California private health insurance rates will increase an average of 13.2%. The actual rate change will vary, based on:

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Posted: September 6th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

By Wendy Barnett

Covered CA implements Web Browser Log-in Restrictions

CalHEERS 16.7, the newest version of the Covered CA online application, now restricts users to one account log-in per web browser. Health Insurance Brokers in California who are certified with Covered CA or enrollment counselors will not be able to open a new browser tab...

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Posted: September 1st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

By Wendy Barnett

E-Verification of Medicare begins in August, 2016

The Covered CA application, known as CalHEERS, will now electronically verify an applicant’s Medicare eligibility and enrollment. Previously, when the question on the application asked if you are currently enrolled in Medicare or receiving Medicare benefits, it would allow you to self-attest ...

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Posted: September 1st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

By Wendy Barnett

Covered California announced that beginning in August 2016 a new notice will be sent out to enrollees who are approaching or are over their 65th birthday.  The notice is titled “You may now qualify for Medicare” and discusses important steps regarding the transition from Covered CA to Medicare. These steps include important info...

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Posted: September 1st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

On August 1, 2016, the Covered CA online application, called CalHEERS, made changes on their Remote Identity Proofing (RIDP) pages.

Text changes will appear in the description of the RIDP pages and the drop down menus to improve clarity and readability for applicants. The newest version, 16.7, of the Covered CA application aims to remove confusion about “the function of the RIDP page...

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Posted: September 1st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

Covered CA gets serious with Qualifying Life Events

Beginning the week of August 1st, Covered CA’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) will start a new Special Enrollment verification process. They will select a random sample of their members who enrolled during the Special Enrollment Period

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Posted: September 1st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

The 2017 Obamacare Open Enrollment Period begins November 1, 2016 and goes until January 31, 2017. For health insurance consumers, they will have three months to apply for Obama Care.

During the 2017 Covered California open enrollment period, consumers can apply for health insurance or change pl...

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Posted: August 31st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance

by Wendy Barnett

Member Level Plan Selection for APTC Eligible Households

A recently announced feature on the Covered CA application significantly affects the plan selection process by adding much needed versatility. Covered California now gives families who are eligible for Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) the option to choose different plans for different members in their house...

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Posted: August 19th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Consideration #1: There’s government money on the Health Exchange.

The big question is, “Do you qualify for a subsidy?” If yes, then you go where the money is, and that’s on health benefit exchange through Covered California. If you make less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), then you qualify for government assistance if you enroll on the California Health Insurance Exchange.

Consideration #2: Enrollment is easiest o...

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Before the implementation of Obama Care in California, health insurance enrollment lasted all year long. There was no Open Enrollment Period. Consumers could purchase health plans and Agents could sell them throughout the year. However, since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a three month Open Enrollment Period has been established.

For consumers, this means you have to be on your A-game. No longer can you purchase health insurance throughout the year. If you do not apply during the Open Enro...

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

The Newly Eligible Qualified Alien Program (NQI) is going into effect. In order to meet the requirements, you must be a qualified alien and the following must be true:

  • You must be under 21 years of age.
  • You may not be pregnant.
  • You may not currently have children.

43,000 people are expected to meet these criteria. They can enroll through the

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Gap Health Insurance Covers People While Waiting for Open Enrollment or for Employer Sponsored Coverage

Short term health insurance sales have gone up since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There has been a lot of upset in the market including people losing coverage and individuals needing gap health insurance to cover them while they’re waiting for Open Enrollment or waiting for their new job to start.

Due to H...

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Already, the Covered California Health Exchange is requiring all carriers (even Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO’s) to assign all members a Primary Care Physician (PCP). They want everyone to have a doctor, and they want everyone to be getting their checkups and preventative tests.

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

I got enrolled on an Obamacare plan during the Covered California Open Enrollment, and now I find out that I have been terminated for lack of documentation. Can I get reinstated? What do I do?

In the last couple months, Covered California and their licensed insurance agents have been following up with clients who need to submit supporting documentation....

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

You may have an issue with your enrollment application, with the health plan, or with the Covered California website, etc. When you contact Covered California as a consumer (800-300-1506) or as an agent (855-777-6782), you will get one of two responses.

  • Resolution: The representative may resolve your issue right over the phone.
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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

At times a consumer has issues with their Obamacare California health plan or their application, and they need to file an appeal. Perhaps you were denied coverage for some reason that you thought was not legitimate. In cases like these, you can go file an appeal either by email or by phone.

In one case, one of our agents, Wendy Barnett, filed an appeal on behalf of a client. The agent said, “It was a lon...

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Illegal immigrant adults who do not have lawful presence in California can now get restricted Medi-Cal health insurance coverage by enrolling through the California Health Exchange, Covered California. They must have a household income that is less than or equal to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to qualify.

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Minors without lawful presence can now qualify for child health insurance coverage through Medi-Cal if the household income is no more than 266% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

At the CAHU Capital Summit on May 18, a California insurance agent asked Mary Watanabe, Deputy Director of the Department of Managed Health Care, about the difficulties he is having finding providers for the mental health care that is supposed to be included on the Obamacare California plans.

The insurance broker questioned, “Regarding the mental health component of new ACA plans, I’m finding it challeng...

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

The Powerful Arm of the Department of Managed Health Care to Protect California Consumers

At the CAHU Capital Summit 2016 on Wednesday, May 18, Mary Watanabe, Deputy Director of the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), asked the rhetorical question, “Does the DMHC have teeth?” The answer is a resounding yes.

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

60% of Californians Who File an IMR with the DMHC Get Health Care Denials Reversed

The Consumer Help Center at the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has assisted more than 1.7 million Californians resolve complaints and issues with their CA health care plans. Their services are fast, free and confidential. Deputy Director, Mary Watanabe, says that the DMHC is the “best kept secret in California.”

If your California health...

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Bernie Sanders’ “No Cost Health Care for All” Appeals to Independent and Decline to State Voters

According to political analyst, Gary Dietrich, 20% of Californian’s have chosen a political affiliation as “Independent” or “Decline to State”. Many of these are young people in their 20’s and 30’s. “Instead of choosing a party, the new voters are looking at personalities [and] personal priorities. Party loyalty is going away,” according to Dietrich.

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Posted: July 21st, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

At CAHU Summit 2016 Political Analyst Argues for CA Agents to Commit to the Common Good

Gary Dietrich spoke to a room full of California insurance brokers on Wednesday, May 18, at the Capitol Summit for the California Association of Underwriters (CAHU). Though California agents tend to be Republicans, he argued against partisanship and said that people are looking to hear both sides. He mentioned talks he has hosted regarding various ballot measures. He had both sides of the ...

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Posted: July 20th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Gary Dietrich, the President and cofounder of Citizen Voice, spoke to a group of California insurance agents on Wednesday, May 18 at the CAHU Capitol Summit. Dietrich is a bipartisan political analyst, and this came through loud and clear in his talk to California health care brokers.

He is a graduate from the University of Santa Barbara and he has a Masters from Harvard. Dietrich has served as staff to state assembly and senate politicians.

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Posted: July 20th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Complications Related to Fluctuating Qualifications, Nightmare for Low Income California Families

California insurance agents, consumers and political leaders argue that something needs to be done to relieve the frustrations of low income individuals who have family health plans that fluctuate between qualifying for Medi-Cal and Covered California.

Through 1332 innovation waivers, California (along with every state) can make improve...

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Posted: July 12th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

At the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) Capitol Summit 2016, speakers considered the issue of whether or not health insurance agents can charge fees. President Michael Lujan argued, “There may be legal remedies to charge feels while we wait for commissions to come back to normal.”

Can agents charge fees to make up for falling commissions?

In the face of dropping commissions since the implementation of the Affordable C...

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Posted: July 12th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Steve Young Addresses Health “Agent” vs. “Broker” Agreements and Speaks to the Issue of Charging Fees

Steve Young, at the CAHU Capitol Summit 2016 addressed the issue of whether or not health agents can charge fees. He began with a discussion regarding the legal differences between the designations “broker” and “agent” relationship.

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Posted: July 12th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

CAHU research suggests that based on the amount of expertise required and the amount of work to service consumers, California insurance agents should get paid 8-10% of insurance premiums for health care enrollments they place. 

The Work of the Insurance Agent

Health insurance brokers acquire clients who want to apply for coverage, enroll customers in health care products, explain benefits and networks, and offer service. According to CAHU, 72% of the ...

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Posted: July 12th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

The Honorable Dave Jones Argues “We couldn’t do this without agents!”

The California State Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, came out strongly in favor of California health agents in a talk to the California Association of Health Underwriters on Tuesday, May 17th. He argued that since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, agents and brokers have enrolled “the lion’s share” of newly insured Californians in the...

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Posted: June 20th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

During Open Enrollment 2015, the Obamacare California Health Plan market grew by 500,000 new members. However, during Open Enrollment 2016, Covered California enrolled only 200,000 new members. Along with these new members, there were 300,000 switchers, people who changed plans during the Covered California Open Enrollment P...

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Posted: May 24th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen

Carriers Are Concerned About High Risk Applicants Received During Special Enrollment Period

California health insurance carriers are concerned about acquiring higher risk members who enroll after Open Enrollment is over. Outside of Open Enrollment, some consumers may apply during the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). However, these applicants are require...

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Posted: May 24th, 2016 under Apply with Covered California

by Stephen Saucier

Even though open enrollment for 2016 coverage is just about to start, the team at Covered California is already working hard to ensure that customers will have even better plan designs for the 2017 Covered California open enrollment period. A key part of their approach to improve the 2017 open enrollment period is to gather as much information as they can...

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Posted: October 29th, 2015 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

As we enter into fall, we start gearing up for cooler weather and the end of the year… Holidays. This can mean stocking up that wood pile in preparation for a warm fire on a cool evening, shopping for a couple of new sweaters to add to a fall wardrobe, or maybe even experiencing a craving for pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin pie.  But this year, if you are one of the hundreds of thousands who are now receiving a tax credit through Covered California, it will be important to u...

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Posted: October 16th, 2015 under Apply with Covered California

by John Hansen & Stephen Saucier

Final Deadline to Enroll: January 31st

Every year there is a window of time during which anyone can apply for individual and family health insurance and enroll in the Obamacare health plan of their choice. This period is called Open Enrollment. For 2016 effective dates, Open Enrollment began on November 1, 2015 and will end on January 31, 2016.

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Posted: September 28th, 2015 under Apply with Covered California

by Esmeralda Mercado

Shop for a New Plan or Keep Your Current Coverage

Shortly, consumers will receive renewal notices from Covered California advising them that their health plan will be renewing on January 1, 2016 and they have a window of time to make changes that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to make until next year. Members have from October 12, 2015 to December 15, 2015 to make changes to their Covered California health plan

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Posted: September 24th, 2015 under Apply with Covered California

by Stephen Saucier

August 31st!

Over the last six weeks, CoveredCA.com has been reaching out to some of its customers to verify citizenship or lawful presence. If you purchased Covered California health insurance through the California State Exchange in the last 10 months or so and are not a U.S. citizen or national, you would have had to state on your application that you have satisfactory immigration status. If that...

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Posted: August 27th, 2015 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

So you enrolled in a Covered California health plan. You applied for a plan with a significant premium tax credit, you paid your first premium and received your medical cards, and you think you’re all set.  Not so fast!  You will also need to keep track of your household income in case it changes during the year.  When you enroll on

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Posted: September 22nd, 2014 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

A number of people have reported enrolling into Covered California, but never received a bill from their insurance carrier and are still waiting to pay. Let’s look at what happened to Jose Ortiz in Salinas California, who chose a Silver 94 Health Net PPO plan.

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Posted: September 19th, 2014 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

Due to the Affordable Care Act, the way people obtain their health insurance is different now.  They must apply and enroll during an ...

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Posted: September 8th, 2014 under Apply with Covered California

by Wendy Barnett

You may have heard on the news or talked to a family member or friend who is receiving assistance in paying their health insurance premiums. This may have gotten you thinking, “Hey, I could use some help paying for my health insurance!” All of us could use help with this growing annual expe...

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Posted: August 27th, 2014 under Apply with Covered California

by Holly Davies

If you missed the first Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may be eligible for Special Enrollment if you experience a ‘qualifying life event’.  A Special Enrollment period allows you to enroll during the 60 days following your qualifying event. This way you will not be required to wait until the next Open Enrol...

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Posted: August 22nd, 2014 under Apply with Covered California

By Esmeralda Mercado & Stephen Saucier

 

Obamacare 2014 is coming. But what if you need coverage for yourself and/or your family through the end of this year? If you enroll in a health insurance plan now, how will the transition to Obamacare affect you? The last thing you want is to shell out more money than you need to, fail to comply with the new laws, or even experience a lapse in coverage. It may seem like a scary process but the good news is that the information you need is available to you and you certainly have options.

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Posted: October 29th, 2013 under Apply with Covered California