Covered California Deadline and Effective Dates
It pays to plan ahead.
An effective date is the first day your insurance company starts to cover you. They will not pay for medical expenses prior to this date. It’s a general rule of thumb that coverage starts the first day of the month.
Submit your application by the applicable Covered California deadline in order for the insurance company to honor a particular effective date. As always, we recommend submitting your application ahead of time rather than the day of the Covered California deadline. This way you beat the rush, and provide time for any corrections needed on the application.
How It Works During Open Enrollment
Most anyone can sign up, renew a plan, or make plan changes during open enrollment. The effective date is determined by the date the application is submitted or plan change was requested. This chart is not reflective of each year’s open enrollment dates, so make sure to double check before you make plans.
|Open Enrollment||Deadline||Effective Date|
||December 15th||January 1st|
|January 15th||February 1st|
How It Works During Special Open Enrollment
Outside the open enrollment window is the special enrollment period. During this timeframe a qualified life event occurring within the last 60 days is required in order to enroll. Sixty days past is counted from the date the application is submitted.
|Special Open Enrollment||Deadline||Effective Date|
|Had a baby or adopted a child||Within 60 days of event||Date of birth or adoption|
|Lost or will soon lose health insurance||Last day of the month||1st of the following month|
|Got married or entered into a domestic partnership||15th of the month||1st of the following month|
|Permanently moved to/within California|
|Gained citizenship/lawful presence|
|Returned from active duty military service|
|Released from jail or prison|
|Federally Recognized American Indian or Alaska Native|
There is a short period of time when open enrollment and special enrollment overlap.
What if you move permanently to California the first week in November and need your insurance to start December 1st? Well, it is the open enrollment period, but for general applications the effective date is January 1st and you need coverage sooner.
In order to get the correct effective date, your application would need to be:
Marked as an application with a special qualifying life event of “permanently moved to California” within the last 60 days
Submitted no later than the Covered California deadline of November 15th
It can be a little tricky. If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call at 1-877-752-4737 and we can walk you through the process.
Pay Your First Month’s Premium
Nothing is final until you pay. Remember, you can submit your application on time, but unless you pay your first month’s premium, your health insurance will not be activated for the effective date you want.