Some things you should know about Covered California:
You have three months to enroll
Premiums have gone up from last year
You may be eligible for subsidies
You don't have to buy through Covered California
There are multiple ways to sign up
ABOUT COVERED CALIFORNIA
What is Covered California?
Let’s get rid of the confusing government lingo so you can understand what Covered California actually is. Because all insurance policies are now required to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” the plan options and prices on Covered California policies are the same as for the policies bought directly through individual insurance providers.
Because California decided not to join the national program, they created "Covered California" to provide high-quality healthcare to Californians who needed some assistance from the federal government to help pay for their premium.
Who should use Covered California?
Individual’s are no longer required to have insurance coverage as of January 1st, 2019. You are free to choose where you purchase your insurance from — either through Covered California or directly through the insurance companies we represent.
You only need to go through the Covered California site if you qualify for financial assistance (a subsidy). If you do not qualify, you will have the same benefits and premiums available through Covered California or through a private insurance company. If you are now thinking you're in the wrong place, click here for individual policies.
How can I enroll in Covered California?
The open enrollment for Covered California for 2019 ended on January 31, 2019. However, if you experience a qualifying life event, you can still sign up for coverage within 60 days of the event in a special enrollment.
A subsidy is financial assistance from the government referred to as "premium assistance." This doesn't mean you will get a check from Uncle Sam in the mail. Instead, the government gives advanced tax credits to people who may not be able to afford health insurance on their own. These tax credits go straight to a consumer’s health insurance provider, making your monthly health insurance payment much less. The consumer just pays his health insurance company the decreased amount every month. This help available to individuals and families who need health insurance, but whose income is below a certain amount. A person’s age, income, and location will help determine how much financial aid the government provides. The basic idea is that the less money someone makes, the more financial support the government is able to provide.
Here are some things you should know about Premium Assistance in Redding:
Individuals and families pay less for their health insurance with premium assistance.
When an individual or family enrolls in health insurance, the premium assistance is directly applied to the amount the individual or family owes.
Premium assistance is only available for insurance plans from Covered California.
The money from the premium assistance goes straight to the Covered California health plan chosen by the individual or family.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know if I qualify for a subsidy?
Use the Shop & Compare tool on the Covered California website - which is excellent. You simply enter a few pieces of information to find out if you qualify for a subsidy, and if so, how much that subsidy might be.
What is a "qualifying life event"?
Events such as a marriage, birth of a child, or loss of employer-sponsored health coverage would all qualify as a qualifying life event.
What if I just don't get insurance?
As of 2019, there is no penalty for going without health insurance coverage. For more information, please contact your tax advisor.
What happens if I missed the open enrollment?
If you’ve experienced a qualifying life event, such as a marriage, birth of a child, or loss of coverage through an employer, you may enroll within 60 days of the event. There are also some short-term plans available that might work for you until the next open enrollment.
Once I enroll, can I change my plan?
Yes, you can change your plan each year at the open enrollment period.
Do you have additional questions about Covered California? Please contact us at Shasta Health Insurance Services.
What do I do if my income changes after I’ve enrolled?
As your agent, we can submit any changes in income to Covered California on your behalf. We will then let you know if your premium amount will change and what that amount will be.
Can my family enroll in different plans?
When enrolling as a family on a Covered California plan, all family members must enroll in the same plan. The only exception would be if the children of a family are qualified for Medi-Cal.
My employer offers health benefits, but I am still in the waiting period. Can I get a plan through Covered California?
Yes, but once you are eligible for coverage through an employer, whether or not you enroll in that coverage, you are no longer eligible for a Covered California plan. At that point you must make sure you notify Covered California and cancel your plan. Again, as your Redding Health Insurance agent, we are happy to take care of this process on your behalf.
Can I be involved with Covered California as a Small Business?
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is part of the Covered California marketplace designed to help employers offer affordable health care for employees and their families. It is available to employers of 1 to 50 eligible employees. Redding businesses may qualify for a tax credit that would help offset the cost of the premiums for their employees.