Special Enrollment – You May Still Get Health Coverage and Financial Assistance
Covered California’s annual open enrollment period may be over, but if you remain uninsured, you still may be able to get financial assistance to help you purchase health care coverage. Covered California health plans, financial assistance, and rates are locked in for 2017.
Between now and Oct. 31, during Covered California’s special enrollment period, eligible individuals can sign up for health insurance – and get financial assistance – within 60 days of a qualifying life event. The following life events may make you eligible for special enrollment:
- Losing health coverage because of losing or changing jobs.
- Getting married or entering a domestic partnership.
- Having a baby, adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or in foster care.
- Turning 26 years-old.
- Moving where new Covered California health insurance plans were not available where you previously lived.
- Becoming a citizen, a U.S. national, or a lawfully present individual.
If you qualify under any of these conditions, you are eligible to get health insurance coverage through the special enrollment provisions.
Make sure you take advantage of the financial assistance available to you and your family. Covered California households received an average of $5,300 per year in tax credits to help pay for the cost of their coverage in 2016. Additionally, 12 percent of Covered California households receive more than $10,000 per year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that California’s uninsured rate has fallen to a new record low of 7.1 percent. Covered California added 412,000 enrollees during the open enrollment period that concluded on Jan. 31. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, California’s uninsured rate for all ages was higher than the national average: 17 percent compared to 14.4 percent. Since that time, California has fallen below the national average and is dropping at a significantly faster pace.
For more information on special enrollment rules, visit: http://www.CoveredCA.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/special-enrollment. For free assistance with plan choices and special enrollment, please contact us at KeenanDirect: www.keenandirect.com or 855-653-3626.
About Sam Cole
Sam Cole serves as Vice President of KeenanDirect. He has more than two decades of experience in the California insurance market. He is a Lifetime qualified member of the National Association of Health Underwriter’s (NAHU) Leading Producers Round Table.