Frequently Asked Questions


Questions About the Application Process

What can I do if I forgot my username?

You can reset your username by clicking "Account Sign In" and then clicking the "Forgot username?" link.

I don’t have all the information I need to answer the questions on the application. What should I do?

If you do not have all the information, sign and submit your application anyway. We will call you to tell you what to do within 10 to 15 calendar days after we get your application. If you do not hear from us, please call us at (800) 300-1506 (TTY: [888] 889-4500).

What will happen after I apply?

We will send you a letter within 45 days to tell you which program you and your family members qualify for. If you do not hear from us, please call us at (800) 300-1506 (TTY: [888] 889-4500).

Can I get help with my application or with choosing a plan?

Yes! Help is free. Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Insurance Agents are available in communities across the state to give you information about new health insurance choices and help you apply. You can also get help by visiting your county social services office. Help is available in many different languages.

Get help with your application or with choosing a plan:

  • Online: Visit CoveredCA.com. We provide information about each health insurance plan, explained in clear and simple terms.
  • By phone: Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506 (TTY: [888] 889-4500). You can call Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The call is free.
  • In person: We have trained Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Insurance Agents who can help you. Or you can visit your county social services office. This help is free! For a list of places near where you live or work, visit CoveredCA.com or call (800) 300-1506 (TTY: [888] 889-4500).

When can I enroll?

Open enrollment began on Nov. 1, 2016 and ends on Jan. 31, 2017. If you want your coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2017 you must pick a plan by Dec. 19, 2016. Individuals with special qualifying life events can enroll at any time of the year. Medi-Cal enrollment 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.

Will I get a membership ID card?

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.

What free preventive services are available in the health plans through Covered California?

A comprehensive list of free preventive care available in all health plans through Covered California can be found on the Using Your Plan page.

General Questions

When can I enroll?

Open enrollment begins on November 1, 2016 and ends on January 31, 2017. If you want your coverage to start on January 1, 2017 you must pick a plan by December 19, 2016. Individuals with special qualifying life events can enroll at any time of the year. Medi-Cal enrollment 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.

How much does it cost to buy insurance through Covered California?

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.

What if I choose not to get health insurance?

Most Americans are required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you choose to remain uninsured, you may face a tax penalty. Learn more about the penalty for remaining uninsured.

I received a Form 1095-A from Covered California. What is Form 1095-A? Where can I learn more?

Form 1095-A is a document you will need when you prepare your taxes for 2015. Visit the page What is Form 1095-A? in our Members section to learn more about it.

Does Covered California offer dental coverage?

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.

Does Covered California offer vision coverage?

All Covered California health insurance plans include children's vision care. In addition, Covered California now offers consumers a direct pathway to quality vision coverage. Learn more on the Vision Coverage page.

How do I enroll in health coverage?

Visit the About Covered California page to learn how enrollment works. To learn more about who is eligible to enroll, visit our Individuals and Families section.

What if I want to change something about my health coverage or renew my plan through Covered California?

Go to the Members section of our website for more information. You can also get help by phone, by live chat or through one of our certified enrollment partners. For more information about how to find free, confidential help, including storefronts, in your community, visit Find Local Help.

What are the health plan options?

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.

Is Covered California an insurance company?

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.

Does Covered California offer health coverage for small businesses?

Yes. Visit the Covered California for Small Business section of our website to learn about the benefits for small businesses and their employees.

How do I create an online account?

For instructions on how to create an online account, visit the Members area.

What can I do if I created an online account but forgot my password?

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.

Here are the rules for creating a password:

  • You cannot use words found in a dictionary or names.
  • Your new password cannot be one that you have used within the last 24 passwords.
  • Your password must have at least eight characters and have no more than 16 characters.
  • Your password must start with a letter and include:
    • At least one uppercase letter (A-Z).
    • At least one lowercase letter (a-z).
    • At least one number (0-9).
    • At least one special character (#, $, %, etc.).

What can I do if I forgot my user name?

You can reset your password by clicking "Account Login" and then clicking the "Forgot Your Username?" link.

When will I get my bill?

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.

Once I’m enrolled, how do I use my plan? What do I do next?

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.

I applied for Medi-Cal but have not received any information from the county. What should I do?

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 your county human services agency for in-person assistance with your application. You can also find more information within the Medi-Cal section of this website and on the California Department of Health Care Services’ website.

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 Shop and Compare 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.

Will I get a membership ID card?

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 2015 and you renew and keep the same health insurance plan, you can keep your current card for 2016. 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.

What preventive services are available in the health plans through Covered California?

A comprehensive list of free preventative care available in all health plans through Covered California can be found in the Members area.

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