September 28, 2021
Covered California announced a special-enrollment period for Californians who will soon be losing the federal financial help that is allowing them to continue receiving health insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA. Under one provision of the American Rescue Plan, Californians have been eligible for financial help that pays 100% of their COBRA premiums from April 1 through Sept. 30, 2021.
COBRA allows workers and their families, who lose their health benefits, the right to continue receiving the coverage provided by their employer for a limited time. However, they must pay the entire monthly premium, including the amount that was previously paid by their employer. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2020 Employer Health Benefits Survey, the average monthly premium cost for an employer-sponsored health plan was $623 for an individual and $1,778 for a family.
When the American Rescue Plan’s COBRA subsidies cease at the end of September, consumers who are still eligible to continue their COBRA coverage can choose to pay the full premium or switch to Covered California, either immediately or during the upcoming open-enrollment period, to have new coverage for all of 2022.
Covered California estimates that 138,000 people, who will be losing their COBRA subsidies, will be eligible to enroll in a high-quality health plan offered by one of 11 brand-name carriers.
Covered California’s special-enrollment period for COBRA recipients runs through Nov. 29, 2021. Consumers who sign up before the end of September will have their new Covered California coverage begin on Oct. 1.
In addition, Covered California is currently in a special-enrollment period until the end of the year for uninsured consumers who would like to sign up and begin benefiting from the lower premiums available through the American Rescue Plan.
Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible for 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 visit www.CoveredCA.com.