Covered California: Open Enrollment for 2016 Begins Nov. 1

Open Enrollment for Covered California in 2016 is from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. If you would like coverage to begin January 1, 2016, you must enroll by December 15, 2015. Most people are required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

In 2016, the penalty will be 2.5% of your yearly household income or $695 per adult (and $347.50 per child under 18) up to $2,085 per family, whichever is higher.

What’s Covered California?

Covered California is a place where you can compare and shop for private health insurance plans and get financial assistance to pay for health coverage if you qualify. Covered California makes it more affordable for Californians like you to get quality health insurance, including Medi-Cal, that can't be canceled or denied because of an existing illness or if you get sick.

If you have health care through work or a public program, you can keep it. But if not, Covered California can help you understand your options and find a plan that's right for you and your family.

You Have a Range of Options.

Covered California offers plans with four levels of coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. At each level, the health insurance company pays for a percentage of your annual health care costs. The benefits offered within each level are the same — no matter which health insurance company you choose. To pick the plan that’s right for you, you can compare costs and look at the network of hospitals and doctors in your area.

  • If you choose Platinum or Gold you will pay a higher monthly premium, so when you need medical services, you can pay less.
  • If you choose Silver or Bronze you can choose to pay a lower monthly premium, but when you need medical services, you pay more.
  • A minimum coverage plan, which covers worst-case scenarios, is also available to those under 30 or who can prove financial hardship.

Covered California Helps Pay for Health Insurance.

Health insurance protects you from the what-ifs of life and can bring peace of mind, but you might be concerned about the cost. Covered California offers financial help and a variety of plans from private companies so you can choose the option that's best for your health needs and budget.

There are no annual limits on how much your plan will cover, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there is now a ceiling on the total you pay out of pocket each year for doctor visits, hospital stays, and medications. Based on your household income, your family may qualify for a tax credit to help pay for health coverage or low-cost or no-cost plans through Medi-Cal. To learn if you qualify, see the chart below.

Enroll in Covered California Online.

Prior to enrollment, please obtain the following documents and information:

For every family member who will be covered by the health plan (including you), you should have:

  • Proof of income*
  • CA ID or drivers license of the person who is applying for the family
  • U.S. Passport, legal resident card or certificate of citizenship or naturalization documentation

Also, for all family members who apply, you should know:

  • Birth dates
  • Social Security Numbers**
  • Home ZIP code

* Proof of current income of all family members applying (tax return, W-2, recent pay stubs, etc.). A dependent's income should only be included if their income level requires them to file a tax return. A family is defined as the person who files taxes as head of household and all the dependents claimed on that person's taxes. If you don't file taxes, you can still qualify for free or low-cost insurance through Medi-Cal.

** Families that include unlawfully present immigrants can apply. You can apply for your child even if you are not eligible for coverage.

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For more information or to find free, confidential local help, please contact: or (800) 300-1506.