Since the opening of the Covered California Marketplace in October 2013, hundreds of thousands of Californians have signed up for health insurance coverage. This is good news for those who previously did not have health insurance, or who lost their insurance plans due to changes in the law. Many of those who have filled out applications were pleasantly surprised to discover they are eligible for subsidies to help cover the cost of their insurance premiums.
However, California still has a long way to go in getting everyone covered by health insurance. With Open Enrollment ending on March 31, those who have yet to file an application need to do so soon. Open Enrollment is the period during which Californians may apply for a new health insurance policy or make changes to their existing policy. If an application is not filed before March 31, uninsured individuals will not be able to apply for health insurance coverage until enrollment reopens in October.
Effective dates of coverage – in other words, the date on which an individual will be covered by an insurance plan – depend upon the date of application. For applications submitted now through March 15, the effective date of coverage will be April 1. For those who apply between March 16 and March 31, the effective date of coverage will be May 1.
Those who fail to apply with Covered California by the March 31 deadline will not be eligible for health insurance coverage this year. The next open enrollment period begins in October, but those who apply in October will have an effective date of coverage of January 1, 2015. It is extremely important to apply for health insurance through Covered California now in order to have coverage during 2014.
Certain exceptions to the open enrollment period do apply. In the event of a marriage or birth, individuals may be added to a health insurance plan. For those divorcing, an ex spouse may be removed from insurance policies outside of the open enrollment period.
Our agents are Covered California Certified and can help you complete an application at no cost to you.