If you don't already have health insurance coverage, you can purchase coverage through the state's online health insurance marketplace, known as Covered California. The Covered California website ( www.coveredca.com ) lets you comparison-shop among competing private health insurance plans. Depending on income, you may qualify for assistance (tax credits and subsidies) to reduce your cost. This assistance is only available for plans purchased through Covered California, and is automatically applied to your purchase. You must be a citizen or legal resident to purchase coverage through Covered California.
You can enroll in private insurance coverage through Covered California during the Open Enrollment period. (Open Enrollment for 2019 coverage ran from October 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019. Those already in a plan could complete their renewals starting October 1, 2018.) You can also enroll within 60 days of a " qualifying life event " that changes your coverage needs, such as marriage, birth, a permanent move, or the loss of employer-provided coverage. For more information, call (888) 975-1142, or visit www.coveredca.com .
Depending on income, Covered California also refers some applicants to Medi-Cal for coverage. There is no open enrollment period for Medi-Cal; you can enroll in Medi-Cal year-round.