About Covered California

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits. 

Covered California makes it simple and more affordable for millions of Californians to get quality health insurance, including Medi-Cal, that can't be canceled or denied because of a pre-existing medical condition or if someone gets sick. Covered California offers a range of plans so a consumer can choose the one that best meets their health needs and financial situation, and can be attained easily online, in person or by phone. 

Covered California serves Californians by helping to:

  • Improve access to quality coverage. More Californians than ever before have easy access to a wide range of private health insurance plans. Millions of Californians who do not have health insurance can benefit from lower-cost coverage. Covered California helps these individuals learn about the health coverage options that best meet their needs. It also helps millions more who are not eligible for financial support, but can still benefit by using the insurance protections that have taken effect under the new health care law.
  • Make health coverage affordable. Covered California can help consumers find out if they are eligible for sliding-scale financial assistance that could help reduce health care costs. If income is very limited, consumers may be eligible for free coverage through Medi-Cal. Covered California also helps reduce health care costs for all Californians by reducing the number of uninsured and the burden of uncompensated care that was previously borne by all of those who had insurance.
  • Improve the health of all Californians. With health insurance, individuals don't have to wait for small health problems to become big ones. Access to preventive care and a network of health professionals who are trained to keep are available to help consumers stay healthy. Covered California also works to promote prevention and wellness programs that help all Californians.

To find out which Covered California plan is right for you, check out the Shop and Compare tool.

Enrollment Period

Open enrollment for Covered California health insurance plans happens once a year. Open enrollment for 2016 coverage begins Nov. 1, 2015, and continues through Jan. 31, 2016. Covered California also offers a special-enrollment option for those who experience a life-changing event (such as getting married, having a child or moving) and need to enroll outside of open enrollment. Medi-Cal enrollment for those with qualifying incomes is available year-round. Consumers can enroll for health coverage onlineby phone or in person with free assistance.