Whether you need health insurance for a few months or the foreseeable future, you can find a plan and the financial help to pay for it through Covered California — no long-term commitment required.

Losing health insurance — even temporarily — can be scary. Rest assured: When you need short-term coverage, Covered California can help. A free service that connects Californians with brand-name health insurance at a lower cost, Covered California can help you get covered now and you can cancel at any time. There’s no commitment when you sign up. You’ll get the same high-quality insurance whether you need to bridge a short gap or stay covered for years to come.

Even better? You may be able to get financial help to pay for your plan. Nine out of 10 people who apply for health insurance through Covered California get help to lower the cost of their monthly premium or reduce out-of-pocket expenses. There’s a good chance you could pay as low as $10 or even $0 per month. Read on to learn more. 

What Is Short-Term Health Insurance?  

The term “short-term health insurance” traditionally referred to a specific type of bare-bones health plan. These plans didn’t meet guidelines set out by the Affordable Care Act (like covering preexisting conditions) and were banned in California in 2019. However, it’s important to know that today you can still get plans for a short period of time through Covered California.  

Short-Term Insurance Through Covered California  

Covered California is the place where residents can shop for high-quality health plans, access financial help and get free expert assistance. Plus, you can cancel anytime. Here’s what you can expect: 

  • Brand-name, quality health plans. All plans offered through Covered California meet Affordable Care Act guidelines. That means they guarantee coverage of all preexisting conditions, as well as essential health benefits like emergency care, preventive and wellness services, prescription drugs and more. 
  • No long-term commitment. When you sign up, you’ll pay for health insurance monthly with no commitment. You can keep your plan only for as long as you need and cancel anytime. 
  • Financial help. Ninety percent of people who enroll for health insurance through Covered California receive financial help to lower the cost of their monthly premiums. Many people also qualify for subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. 
  • Free expert assistance. Our health insurance experts are on standby to help you navigate your options and find a plan that works for you. 

How to Get Health Insurance 

Wondering how to get health insurance to bridge a gap in coverage — or how to get health insurance without a job? You can either purchase a plan during open enrollment or during a special enrollment period. Here’s how that works:

Open Enrollment 

Everyone can apply for health plans through Covered California during open enrollment, which runs from November 1 through January 31.

Special Enrollment 

If you’ve experienced a major event like losing your job, getting married, having a baby or another life-changing circumstance, you may qualify for special enrollment. Many people looking for short-term health insurance options fall into this category. Remember, no matter whether you sign up for health insurance during open enrollment or special enrollment, you can keep your plan for as long as you need and cancel at any time — plus, if your household income qualifies, you’ll get financial aid.

Financial Help From Covered California 

The overwhelming majority (90 percent) of people who apply for health insurance through Covered California receive financial help to lower the cost of coverage. Two out of three people will be able to purchase health insurance for $10 per month with many people paying as low as $0 for their monthly premium. You can get a quote in just a few minutes with the quick calculator

Financial help can come in two different forms: premium tax credits that help lower your monthly premium and extra savings known as cost-sharing reductions to reduce out-of-pocket payments when you need care. Learn more about your financial help options here

Get Covered Now 

When you need short-term health insurance coverage, the best time to start shopping for a plan is now. Getting covered will help you stay healthy, while avoiding unexpected medical bills and a penalty come tax time. Find a health plan that works for you, and see if you qualify for financial help through Covered California today