Open enrollment for Covered California runs through Jan. 31, 2020
–Annual open enrollment for Covered California – California’s state health insurance marketplace – runs through January 31, 2020. In order for coverage to begin on Jan 1, 2020, consumers will need to sign up by Dec. 15. Visit https://www.coveredca.com/ to sign up.
What is Covered CA?
Free preventative care: All plans at CoveredCA.com cover free preventive care with no co-pay. This means free cancer screenings, check-ups, and more.
Low-cost health insurance: You can find out if you are eligible for low-cost health insurance premiums at CoveredCA.Com
Comprehensive coverage: Health plans in the individual and small groups markets are required to cover ten categories of essential health benefits – including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, and prescription drug coverage.
Emergency care: In an emergency, individuals are covered at any hospital location and their insurance company can’t charge more for getting emergency room services at an “out-of-network” hospital.
Renewing your health plan?
To renew your health insurance for 2020, log in to your CoveredCA.com account and click on the “renewal” button to complete the renewal process. You may also use the Shop and Compare Tool to see your health plan options and rates. If you take no action to actively renew or change plans, you will automatically be enrolled 30 days after the date on the renewal notice you received in the mail, into the same plan you had the previous year and using the most recent household size and income information you gave to CoveredCA.com.
In need of financial help?
Starting in 2020, the state of California will provide additional financial help to lower the monthly cost of health insurance for eligible low- and middle-income Californians. According to Covered California, nearly one million Californians may be eligible for the new state financial help. The amount of financial help consumers may qualify for depends on where you live, your income, and the size of your family. While consumers can always buy a health plan directly from a health insurance company, Covered California is the only place consumers can go to get financial help they may qualify for.
Be sure to check out Covered California’s website to see if you can get financial help with your health coverage. You may now qualify for financial help you didn’t qualify for in the past, or you may receive more financial help than you did before.
What is the requirement to have health insurance coverage?
While there is currently no federal penalty for not having health insurance, the state of California has restored this requirement.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, California residents are required to maintain health insurance throughout the year or potentially face a penalty for each month they lack coverage. The Franchise Tax Board is responsible for administering the penalty, and Californians who owe a penalty will pay when they file their 2020 state income tax return in 2021. Some exemptions to this penalty exist based on hardship.
For those who have questions about signing up or want to talk through their health plan options with a trained professional, there is a call center and in-person assisters available. Call 1-800-300-1506 or visit https://storefronts.coveredca.com/
If you don’t have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid or another source, CoveredCA.com helps you find and enroll in a plan that fits your budget and meets your needs.
–Submitted by the office of Salud Carbajal
Recommended local health insurance agent: Hinds Financial Group, (805) 239-7443