You can apply for coverage during the open enrollment period that runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 in most states, including those using healthcare.gov. Coverage through a marketplace plan takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019. After Dec. 15, you may only sign up for a plan under special circumstances. Open enrollment in states that run their own marketplaces depends on the state. Seven states—California, Colorado, DC, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode Island—have extended open enrollment beyond Dec. 15, 2018. Check with your state marketplace for details.
Group vision insurance plans can pay for eye exams, eyeglasses, ocular surgery and other eye-related medical care. Vision insurance is normally purchased as an addition to your regular small business health plan. While businesses aren't legally required to offer vision plans as part of their health insurance, tax incentives are available as a reward for small business to do so.
If you’re looking for a metal plan outside of the annual open enrollment period, your wait for effective coverage will depend on whether you have a qualifying life event, unless you’re Native American (Native Americans can enroll year-round). If you do have a qualifying event, you’ll be eligible for a special enrollment period and will be able to buy a plan that puts coverage in force before January 1.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace website. In offering this website, HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is required to comply with all applicable federal laws, including the standards established under 45 CFR 155.220(c) and (d) and standards established under 45 CFR 155.260 to protect the privacy and security of personally identifiable information. This website may not display all data on Qualified Health Plans being offered in your state through the Health Insurance Marketplace website. To see all available data on Qualified Health Plan options in your state, go to the Health Insurance Marketplace website at HealthCare.gov.


Check with your state regulator that an agent has a valid license and a clean record, and make sure health insurance isn’t a sideline or a new specialty. You want an agent who represents a number of major insurers, rather than just one company. You also may want to ask agents how they’re compensated. Agents get commissions from insurers for each policy they sell, often calculated as a percentage of a customer’s premiums. These can range from around 3% to as high as 20%, according to agents and insurance officials. You want to know if your agent will make more money from selling you a certain plan. Also, commissions can be higher in the first year of a policy, an incentive for unscrupulous agents to “churn” clients, or try to get them to switch policies.
When you have employer-sponsored health insurance, your employer usually pays part of the monthly premiums and you pay part of the monthly premiums. Your share of the premiums are deducted from your paycheck automatically so you don’t have to remember to pay each month. In most cases, this payroll deduction is taken out of your paycheck before your income taxes are calculated; this way, you’re not paying income taxes on the money you spent on health insurance premiums.
SB4 – The California Senate passed SB4 in early June 2015, the Assembly in September, and on October 9, 2015, Gov. Brown signed it into law. The legislation, renamed the Health for All Kids Act, focuses on Medi-Cal access for undocumented immigrant children under the age of 19. SBF will take effect in May 2016, and it has been estimated that 170,000 undocumented immigrant children will then become eligible for Medi-Cal based on their household income alone.
If your spouse has job-based health insurance, you may be eligible for the same coverage. Many employers extend the offer of job-based health insurance to their employees’ spouses, children, and step-children. You must sign up for this coverage during the initial enrollment period when your spouse first gets his or her job. If you miss this opportunity, you’ll have another opportunity during each annual open enrollment period.

You can only qualify for Catastrophic health plans if you're under 30 years old or meet certain exemption requirements, although Bronze plans are available to anyone. These lower metal tier policies have cheap monthly premiums for health insurance, but much higher cost sharing. So, if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more money out of pocket before coverage kicks in. For instance, the Cigna Connect 7150 Bronze plan has a deductible of $7,350, whereas some Gold plans have a deductible below $1,000. If you can cover the high cost sharing in the event of an emergency and expect to have low medical costs, a Bronze plan may be your best cheap option for health insurance coverage.
If you get a job and are offered a job-based health plan you should tell the Marketplace as soon as possible. You can cancel your Marketplace plan or keep it. But you may not be able to get lower costs based on your income. This will depend on whether the job-based plan is considered affordable and meets certain minimum value standards. If you enroll in the job-based plan, you can’t get any savings on Marketplace insurance.
Covered California consumers with Silver-tier coverage who do not receive a subsidy to help them pay their premium each month may be able to avoid certain rate increases in 2018 by switching to a different metal tier (Gold or Bronze) or shopping directly with an insurance company. Consumers in this situation are encouraged to contact an expert Certified Insurance Agent or Enrollment counselor for assistance.
That means you could buy a short-term plan today and — if you’re approved through the underwriting process — you could have coverage in force as soon as the next business day. This aspect of short-term plans is particularly appealing to consumers who are planning to buy ACA-compliant coverage but who face a wait of days or weeks — or even months — before that coverage takes effect.
Once you submit your application, it will be sent to your local county human services agency for a determination if you seem likely to qualify for Medi-Cal. If more information is needed, the county will contact you. During the next 45 days, the county will mail you a notice telling you if you qualify for Medi-Cal. If you are eligible, you will receive a Medi-Cal benefits identification card (BIC) in the mail (if you do not already have one). You will also receive an informational packet in the mail that explains the available Medi-Cal health plan options in your county and how to enroll.
Unfortunately, while the state has taken the important step of putting a rate cap on health plans sold to people with pre-existing conditions, few other protections afforded the individual market. There are but minimal guidelines to guarantee access to the individual market and no high-risk pool has been established. Moreover, the state is not among those who have taken the innovative, if counterintuitive, approach of allowing individuals to purchase "group of one" small group health plans. It's also worth noting that, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, employers seem to follow the same guidelines and priorities as the state legislator: Employers contribute slightly more to employees' family employee plans but slightly less to employees' single coverage plans. Of course, this won't come as a surprise to native Buckeye residents who are well aware of the state's family-friendly reputation.

Apply for California health insurance coverage at eHealthInsurance. We offer thousands of health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s health insurance companies. Compare California health plans side by side, get health insurance quotes, apply online and find affordable health insurance today. You can read more about the Affordable Care Act in our Obamacare Resource Center.
If you're looking for a middle ground—health insurance with both affordable premiums and out of pocket expenses—we typically recommend looking at Silver plans. Silver health insurance plans have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze plans, but cheaper monthly premiums than the Gold or Platinum policies. In addition, if you have a lower income household, Silver plans are eligible for cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSR), meaning you may qualify for an even more affordable rate.
Attention: In offering this website, eHealthInsurance Services, Inc. is required to comply with all applicable federal law, including the standards established under 45 CFR 155.220(c) and (d) and standards established under 45 CFR 155.260 to protect the privacy and security of personally identifiable information. This website may not display all data on Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) being offered in your state through the Health Insurance MarketplaceSM website. To see all available data on QHP options in your state, go to the Health Insurance MarketplaceSM website at HealthCare.gov.
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