Buying Health Insurance After the Open Enrollment Period

Missed Open Enrollment? You may be able to apply now during the Special Enrollment Period.

What happens if I miss Open Enrollment? Am I doomed to be without health insurance for the rest of the year? Am I going to get a penalty? Can you even get insurance outside of Open Enrollment?

See the options below and find out how to get healthcare after open enrollment. There still are opportunities to buy health insurance.

First, do you have a qualifying life event?

If you don’t qualify

  • Verify whether your income qualifies you for the Medi-Cal program. Check income guidelines here. A qualifying life event is not required to enroll in this program, and you can sign up for Medi-Cal at any time during the year.

If available

  • Look into health insurance offered through your job or a spouse’s job. Check with your employer or human resources department for more details.


  • Get a Short Term Health Insurance quote. It’s temporary, major medical insurance with limited benefits. Coverage can be for a minimum of 30 days up to a maximum of 6 months. Pre-existing conditions are excluded, and is not ACA compliant to help you avoid a tax penalty. However, it does cover major medical, and for some people this can be the right fit to give them peace of mind.

Covered California does offer some special enrollment events. Click here to see if there are any coming up in your area.



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.