February 01, 2021
Covered California has announced that it will establish a new special-enrollment period beginning February 1, 2021, to give Californians another opportunities to sign up for health care coverage as the state continues to grapple with widespread disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new special-enrollment period will allow uninsured individuals to sign up for coverage without needing to meet the normal qualifying life events, such as recent loss of coverage or moving. Anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements can sign up for coverage between February 1 and May 15, 2021, and have their coverage begin on the first of the month following enrollment.
According to the announcement, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and the California Department of Insurance have also extended their special-enrollment periods through May 15, requiring all plans in the individual market, including off-exchange health plans to allow individuals to sign up for coverage through May 15.
Individuals who sign up through Covered California will have access to private health insurance plans with monthly premiums that may be lowered due to federal and new state financial assistance that became effective in January 2020. After selecting a plan, coverage would begin on the first of the following month — meaning individuals losing job-based coverage will not face a gap in coverage.
Consumers who sign up through CoveredCA.com may also find out that they are eligible for no-cost or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal, and if so they can enroll online. Once enrolled, coverage is immediately effective.
Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible Medi-Cal or other forms of financial help and see which plans are available in their area by using the CoveredCA.Com Shop and Compare Tool and entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage.
Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can also call Covered California at (800) 300-1506. Free and confidential assistance is available in a variety of languages.