Insurance Options for Monkeypox in CA

In early August, California Governor Gavin Newsom responded to the outbreak of the monkeypox virus spreading around California, constituting a public health emergency. Because of these current events, Health for California is issuing a special enrollment period for our health insurance services.

What Is Monkeypox?

The monkeypox virus comes from the same family as the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Contrary to popular belief, monkeypox and chickenpox are not related.

Being a virus, monkeypox can spread through close, often skin-to-skin contact. This can involve coming into direct contact with the rash, scabs, body fluids or respiratory secretions from someone with the virus. Additionally, touching objects, fabrics or surfaces after those with monkeypox have touched them can spread the virus.

With the variola virus and monkeypox virus being so similar, their symptoms are also similar, with monkeypox being much milder. The main sign of monkeypox is a rash on or near the genitals or anus. Usually, the inflammation will go through several stages — scabs, itchiness, blisters, pimples, etc. — before it heals.

If you are experiencing these symptoms in addition to a rash, you may need to reach out to your doctor:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen or irritated lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion

Special Insurance Enrollment

Open enrollment periods may not line up with your circumstances, as life can throw us curve-balls from time to time. To combat unexpected life twists, Health for California offers special insurance enrollment — a time outside open enrollment periods where you can sign up for health insurance. You may qualify for this if you have experienced a qualifying life event.

What Is a Qualifying Life Event?

qualifying life event defines a significant change in lifestyle within the past 60 days. This change can include moving long distances, getting married, having a baby, involuntarily losing health insurance or having your household income be below a certain amount. In this case, contracting monkeypox is considered a qualifying life event that can qualify you for a health insurance plan.

There are exceptions to the rule of needing a qualifying life event outside open enrollment periods. Those who are federally recognized as American-Indian and Native Alaskan can enroll year-round. You do not need to wait if you qualify for Medi-Cal.

Special Enrollment Reminders

If you are applying for health insurance under the qualifying life event criteria, the date you submit your application determines when your insurance will become effective. Know when you would like your insurance to start — this will help you determine by what date to apply.

Specifically for monkeypox, Californians have 60 days to sign up for coverage from when the state of emergency was issued. The monkeypox emergency was declared on Monday, August 1, 2022.

Get Coverage With Health for California

Health for California Insurance provides coverage for everyone — family, individual, child-only, small business and Medicare plans. We offer affordable rates because we are passionate about making sure everyone can benefit from health insurance. Contact us for more information on our services, and get a quote today.

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.