Everyone needs health insurance. If you don't have employee benefits, then you might need to look beyond your employer for coverage.
An affordable and convenient place to find exceptional coverage is through Covered California™, the Golden State's health insurance marketplace. Most people enroll during the annual open enrollment period, which will start in Fall 2020. However, you might qualify to get a plan today.
Here's how the system works.
What Is Covered California?
Established as part of the Affordable Care Act, Covered California™ is the web site that offers health plans that meet certain standards. Almost anyone can choose to buy a plan through Covered California™. Many people qualify for cost assistance based on their income, too.
Multiple insurers offer plans through Covered California™, including:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Kaiser Permanente
- L.A. Care Health Plan
- Valley Health Plan (VHP)
- Western Health Advantage
These plans offer a variety of coverage and costs for different physician networks and services. Under these plans, you can receive many services, such as vaccines or screenings, for free. Plans also offer competitive costs for inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug coverage. Some also offer coverage for Through Covered California™, you can:
- Compare different policies
- Sign up for coverage
- Find out if you qualify for cost assistance
- Adjust your policy or report life changes
Through Covered California™, you can work with your Quote Valley Insurance agent to decide which plan is best for you. However, there are restrictions on when you can enroll in a new plan. The time to enroll for 2020 is fast approaching, so start making plans now if you need coverage.
What Is Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment is an annual period in which most health insurers require policyholders to buy new coverage or renew existing policies. Most people can only enroll during the open enrollment period. In 2020, open enrollment occurs from November 1st to December 15th. New plans bought during this time will start on January 1, 2021.
Do I Qualify For Special Enrollment?
If you need a health plan immediately, then you might qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP). Not everyone who doesn't have insurance qualifies, though. Usually, other qualifying factors must apply. A few examples of special enrollment qualifiers are:
- Losing your existing health insurance, such as through a job loss or by aging out of a plan.
- Moving to California.
- Moving within California and gaining access to a new plan network.
- Getting married.
- Having a baby, adopting or fostering a child.
In some cases, everyone in your household qualify to use Covered California™ during these special enrollment periods. You will all be able to get coverage much sooner than waiting until open enrollment. However, this does not exempt you from having to renew or change this plan during the next open enrollment period. You will have to re-enroll during open enrollment each year.