December 23, 2013 is the deadline to sign up for a January 1, 2014 start date, but Covered CA will have open enrollment through March 31, 2014 and Medi-Cal is always open for enrollment. Most Californians not covered by an employer’s plan must select a coverage plan through CoveredCA.com by March 31 to avoid paying a penalty for not having insurance. (Exceptions will be made for undocumented persons and some others.)
How to Enroll
Consumers can call 1 (800) 300-1506 or visit www.CoveredCA.com to get more information and enroll in a health care plan. All SFCCC clinics and many other groups are offering application assistance. Please see www.sfccc.org to call for appointments at specific clinics. You do not have to be a patient at a clinic to sign up there.
Interest is clearly very high and each day more people are getting coverage. Even though it is still not perfect, the website has improved significantly and more and more people are completing applications for coverage.
Financial Help is Available
Covered California has affordable insurance options. For many, financial assistance is available. Many Californians can get help paying their health insurance premiums. If you’re an individual making up to $45,960 or a family of four making up to $94,200 you likely qualify for financial assistance.
Benefits of the Affordable Care Act
All health care plans on Covered California offer preventive care at no cost to you, including immunizations, blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer screenings.
As of January 2014, you won’t have to worry about risking your family’s financial well-being to pay for health care, or your insurance company denying coverage for a pre-existing condition or cutting off coverage because you needed health care that year. And your family will have access to low-cost health plans that will give you better, more comprehensive care.
California made the responsible choice to help more working families get health care coverage through Medi-Cal. Even if consumers have not been eligible to enroll in Medi-Cal in the past, many will now be able to receive coverage. Covered California’s website or a certified enrollment counselor can help you determine if your income makes you eligible for Medi-Cal and, if so, will help you enroll in the program.
*adapted from Community Catalyst 12/16/13