Special Enrollment Period

Covered California

What is Special Enrollment?

People who a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) can newly enroll in a health plan through Covered California even outside the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). People who already have a plan through Covered California who experience a QLE can change their coverage or choose a new plan.

Get Help Applying

You can call our certified insurance agents at (800) 650-0922, or visit us in person at one of our locations in Los Angeles and Orange County. Due to current circumstances for safety, we're encouraging consumers to call and not seek in-person help.

Other Qualifying Life Events

Covered California can also determine, on a case-by-case basis, that you experienced an exceptional circumstance that could allow for a special-enrollment period.

Deadlines to Enroll After a Qualifying Life Event

For most qualifying life events, you have 60 days from the date on which the qualifying life event happens to enroll in a Covered California health insurance plan or change their existing plan.

If 60 days pass and you do not sign up for health coverage, you will have to wait until the next open-enrollment period. 

How to Enroll After a Qualifying Life Event

You can call our certified insurance agents at (800) 650-0922, or visit us in person at one of our locations in Los Angeles and Orange County. Due to current circumstances, we're encouraging consumers to call and not seek in-person help. 

Start Dates and Avoiding Gaps in Coverage

Your coverage start date will depend on your qualifying life event. 

For these life events, coverage will start on the first day of the month following enrollment: 

  • Needing coverage due to COVID-19. 

  • Losing Medi-Cal or job-based coverage. 

  • Marriage or registered domestic partnership. 

For the birth or adoption of a child, or acceptance of a child into foster care, your coverage starts on the first day of the month following the birth, adoption, or placement in foster care but you can choose to have coverage start on the date of the birth, adoption, or placement in foster care, or on the first day of the month following enrollment. 

For most other qualifying life events, the start date for coverage depends on the date of enrollment. If you enroll by the 15th day of the month, coverage will start on the first day of the next month. If you enroll after the 15th day of the month, coverage will start on the first day of the second month. For example, if you enroll on April 10, coverage will start on May 1. If you enroll on April 16, coverage will start on June 1. 

Documents to Verify a Qualifying Life Event

Some consumers who apply for Covered California coverage in a special-enrollment period are asked to submit verification of their qualifying life event. If you receive a letter asking you to submit documents for your qualifying life event, check the Special Enrollment Acceptable Document List to select the right document to send to us.

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Disclaimers

“Covered California,” “California Health Benefit Exchange”, and the Covered California Logo are registered trademarks or service marks of Covered California, in the United States. This website is owned and maintained by Quote Selection Insurance Services DBA Collective:Choice Insurance Solutions Lic # 0F19743, which is solely responsible for its content. This site is not maintained by or affiliated with Covered California, and Covered California bears no responsibility for its content. The e-mail addresses and telephone number that appears throughout this site belong to Quote Selection Insurance Services DBA Collective:Choice Insurance Solutions and cannot be used to contact Covered California.

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