Frequently Asked Questions
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No. Covered California is where Californians can get brand-name health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and see if they qualify for financial subsidies from the federal government to help them pay their monthly premiums. Visit our About Covered California page to learn more.
The best way to get a quick estimate of the price you would pay is to use the Shop and Compare Tool. The price is based on your estimated income for the coverage year, your ZIP code, your household size and your age. If you are a low- or moderate-income Californian, you may get help buying insurance from Covered California through monthly subsidies that lower your premium costs so that you pay less for top-quality, brand-name insurance. Learn more about who qualifies for a subsidy.
Open enrollment begins Nov. 1, 2016, and continues through Jan. 31, 2017. Apply by Dec. 15 for coverage to begin on Jan 1. If you apply later, your coverage will begin later, but as long as you meet the Jan. 31 enrollment deadline, you will avoid owing a tax penaltyfor being uninsured. Others with special qualifying life events can enroll at any time of the year. Medi-Calenrollment is also year-round. Medi-Cal and Covered California use the same application. After you enter your information, you will find out whether you qualify for Medi-Cal or Covered California.
You’ll have a choice of buying insurance from at least two but as many as six private insurance companies, depending on where you live. The vast majority of Covered California consumers have access to insurance plans from at least three different companies. Each plan offers products in multiple metal tiers (or coverage levels), which vary whether you want to pay more for your monthly premium and less when you use care, or pay less for your premium and more when you use care. Consumers with limited incomes may learn they qualify for Medi-Cal.
To see which brand-name insurance companies offer plans in your area, use our Shop and Compare Tool.
How can I find out if my doctor is in a plan offered through Covered California or if my prescription medication is covered?
If you have not selected a health plan, the best way to find out if a doctor is in a plan you are considering is to look at your options in Preview Plans and follow the “View Directory” link for a specific plan to see the plan’s provider directory on the insurance company’s website. If you have a specific doctor in mind, it’s also a good idea to call that provider’s office and ask about the insurance it accepts. To learn more about prescription drugs and formularies, visit our Prescription Drugs page.
If you have already selected your health plan, go to your health insurance plan’s website and look up your provider (doctor, hospital, etc.). Doing this prior to making an appointment can help you verify that your provider participates in your chosen plan’s provider network. Learn more on the Using Your Plan page.
For instructions on how to create an online account, visit the Members area.
You can reset your password by clicking “Account Sign In” and then clicking the “Forgot Your Password?” link. Enter your user name. After you correctly answer your security questions, you will be able to enter a new password. If you do not remember the answers to your security questions, it is best to leave them unanswered and call the Service Center at (800) 300-1506. A Service Center representative can help reset your password.
You can reset your password by clicking “Account Login” and then clicking the “Forgot Your Username?” link.
Visit the Covered California Notices to Consumers page.
Depending on the plan you select, you may be able to pay your first bill when you apply for coverage online. All future bills must be paid directly to the plan, not through your Covered California account.
If you do not pay your first bill online, your health insurance company will send you a bill about two weeks after it receives your application or renewal. The payment due date will be printed on the bill. Please send your payment to your health insurance company before the deadline. If you pay your bill by mail, be sure you send it in time for the insurance company to receive your payment by the payment date printed on the bill. Your health insurance company also may accept payment through the phone or online, which would be faster than mailing your payment. Contact your health insurance company or visit the Paying Your Premium page for more information about payment options.
If you are newly enrolled in a health insurance plan through Covered California, you will receive a membership ID card from your health insurance company after it receives your first payment. Learn more about what to expect on the Using Your Plan page.
If you were covered in 2016 and you renew and keep the same health insurance plan, you can keep your current card for 2017. If you change coverage, such as metal tiers or health insurance companies, your health insurance company will send you a new welcome packet and health insurance card after receiving payment.
If you have already applied, you do not need to apply again. Medi-Cal is processing your application as quickly as possible. Because of the large number of Medi-Cal applications received, processing could take longer than expected, and proof of certain information is required in order to complete each application. If you need immediate assistance or have a specific question about your application, contact yourcounty human services agency for in-person assistance with your application. You can also find more information within the Medi-Calsection of this website and on the California Department of Health Care Services’ website.
All Covered California health insurance plans come with children’s dental coverage embedded in the health plan. In addition, Covered California offers optional family dental plans that provide dental benefits for adults. Learn more on the Dental Coverage page.
A comprehensive list of free preventative care available in all health plans through Covered California can be found in the Members area.
View the Using Your Plan page in the Members area to learn about all of the benefits of being enrolled and how to use your plan.