California Health Care

Even with insurance, many people find themselves with a wide range of health-related costs, like paying for over-the-counter medications, disease management supplies and dental implants. To help offset these costs, many employers offer health accounts or arrangements, including health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts or arrangements (FSAs) and health reimbursement accounts or arrangements (HRAs).

Each type of account works a little differently and may affect how much money you and your employer can contribute, how you can spend the money and who owns it if you leave your job. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty and discuss the pros and cons of HRA, FSA and HSA programs.

All of these accounts — HRAs, FSAs and HSAs — are tax-advantaged, meaning the contributions, or the funds you put into the account, are untaxed. You can put the funds toward eligible expenses for medical, vision and dental care. Some plans allow employers to choose what expenses are covered, but they...

Posted: March 15th, 2023

Finding health insurance as an Uber driver can be difficult. Uber drivers are not technically considered employees and are instead called independent contractors in most states. Because they are considered independent contractors, Uber drivers do not have the same benefits or health care coverage as salaried employees.

As a result, drivers often have to cover their own health care payments and medical expenses, meaning bills and fees can add up over time. However, if you live in California, you have more health care coverage and options than in many other states.

Uber drivers get health insurance in California. For those who work in pre-arranged transportation or on-demand delivery service industries using their personal vehicle, the new California Prop 22 ballot measure ensures health coverage.

The Prop 22 ballot measure was voted on during the November 2020 state election and was created as an exception to Assembly Bill 5. Prop 22 ensures gig-economy drivers are considered employees...

Posted: March 8th, 2023

If you are a Californian with no health insurance, you may face a tax penalty when you file. Though there is no uninsured tax penalty on a federal level, individual states, like California, can still implement mandates. You may still need to pay a tax penalty if you live in California and do not have health insurance.

You can either not carry health insurance and pay the penalty at tax time, or enroll in a qualified insurance plan and avoid the penalty. Some exceptions may apply, depending on your circumstances.

An insurance penalty, also called an uninsured tax penalty or uninsured health care penalty, is a fee you must pay if you do not have a qualifying health insurance plan for a tax year. These penalties used to be in place at a federal level with the Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — in 2014. They required most people who were legal residents or U.S. citizens to purchase qualifying health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

In 2019, the Trump administration rescinded this...

Posted: March 6th, 2023

Open enrollment season has already begun. While the last few months of the year tend to be hectic due to the holidays, don’t neglect the importance of enrolling in your health insurance plan on time. Though signing up for a health plan through your employer or individually can often seem confusing or overwhelming, it might be easier than you think.

Whether you’re enrolling for the first time as a young adult or have an entire household of family members as dependents, waiting until the last second to update your benefits can create challenges down the line. In this open enrollment guide, we’ll discuss how to prepare for 2022 health insurance enrollment in California.

Open enrollment is a dedicated period each year when employees and individuals can enroll in health insurance and elect or adjust the benefits to an existing health plan, such as dental, vision and life insurance or other types of voluntary benefits. Unless you qualify due to a unique life circumstance, which we’ll d...

Posted: January 4th, 2023

Health insurance is an essential investment for people of all ages, but finding it is often confusing for young adults in their 20s. While you can stay on your parent’s insurance plan until age 26, many young adults cannot choose this option. Young adults should find an alternative insurance plan to stay medically and financially protected.

Read on to learn more about health insurance options for young adults in California.

Despite its importance, many young adults do not have health insurance. If you are young and healthy, it can be tempting to avoid it altogether in favor of not spending money on a monthly premium. In addition, fear about costs and confusion about available plans can prevent young adults from seeking insurance plans.

It is crucial to remember health insurance plays an important role in financial and physical health. Young adults should explore available plans to protect themselves against potential health-related incidents. These are some additional reasons behind he...

Posted: December 28th, 2022

If you’ve ever been without health insurance due to a life transition, such as a new job, you may have previously qualified for short-term health insurance coverage. This type of medical insurance policy, also known as an STM health plan, term insurance or temporary health insurance, was designed to help individuals save money on medical bills and avoid being uninsured.

Since 2019, short-term health insurance plans are no longer available for California residents. However, it’s still important to know how this type of temporary medical insurance works and its benefits so you can educate yourself and learn how it might compare to other plans that are available to you. In this guide, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of short-term health insurance and alternatives for this type of plan for California residents.

As the name suggests, short-term health insurance is a temporary health plan generally lasting for a few months to just under a year. Most plans start at around 30 days and hav...

Posted: December 14th, 2022

So you enrolled in a Covered California health plan, Medicaid, or another type of federal health insurance in California. 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 in Covered California, you agree to report any changes, such as an income change, within 30 days. What should you do if your income falls into a different income level and you did not report the change?

If you’re a California resident who has had a recent change in income, use this guide to learn how to properly report income changes across various health insurance providers in California.

When you’re enrolled in a health insurance plan, it’s important to keep your profile or application updated with any major life changes, including:

By reporting circumstance changes to health in...

Posted: December 7th, 2022

Regular dental visits are essential to taking good care of your oral health. You and your family will benefit from having a suitable dental insurance plan to help cover some of the costs and keep your smiles healthy.

With so many factors to consider, from the plans available to you to the coverage they offer, trying to decide on an insurance plan can be challenging on your own. We are breaking down everything you should know and a few easy steps you can take to find a plan that suits you.

Learn more about choosing the right dental insurance plan for you and your family today.

Dental care can effectively help people maintain their teeth and gums for a healthier smile.

A dental plan is a type of health insurance designed to assist with the costs associated with this care. Here’s what this coverage most commonly includes.

Having insurance is beneficial for you and your family. Consider the following reasons you need a comprehensive plan.

When considering getting dental insurance for you or y...

Posted: November 30th, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 introduced many changes to how things are priced in every industry. Just as your tax brackets may change this year, so will your Medicare premiums and guidelines to fit the act’s accordances. Health for California has all the information you need to understand the changes going into effect in 2023 and how they will impact your current or future Medicare coverage.

Medicare provides discounted health care coverage to individuals over 65 and people with certain disabilities. Under the original Medicare plan, sometimes referred to as Parts A and B, qualified people receive coverage for hospital services (Part A), office visits and emergency care (Part B). Further coverage for items like prescriptions and more expensive procedures and services falls under Part CPart D or other supplemental plans.

Every year, the government has the option to update Medicare guidelines to change pricing tiers and make additions to or removals of coverage. In 2022...

Posted: November 24th, 2022

Medical insurance is a crucial benefit that helps millions of Americans pay for health care — according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 66.6% of adults aged 18-64 have private medical coverage. Another survey found that only 50.2% of that population has dental care coverage because most medical insurance plans don’t include dental care.

If you’re wondering why your regular health coverage doesn’t provide dental insurance, you probably aren’t the only one. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, most insurance plans must cover 10 essential health benefits, including prescription drug costs, mental health services and more. Offering dental insurance for adults is optional.

While your medical insurance plan may not offer dental care, there are many good reasons to get this coverage for you and your family. Learn more about supplemental dental insurance and how you can benefit from having it.

Insurance companies don’t consider dental coverage to be an essential...

Posted: November 16th, 2022

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.