Special Enrollment Period

Covered California

Californians Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Still Apply for Coverage through the declared National Public Health Emergency

  • A pandemic or national public health emergency results in a declaration of a state of emergency at the state or national level.

  • During this time of national crisis, we know that thousands of people are affected by income and job loss, leaving many Californians without health insurance. To get covered, call us at (800) 650-0922 to see if you’re eligible.

New Qualifying Life Events

Less than 150 Percent of the Federal Poverty Level

  • For 2022, your expected income is less than $19,320 as a single person, less than $26,130 for a household of two people, less than $32,940 for a household of three people, or less than $39,750 for a household of four people. (For other household sizes, see the Federal Poverty Level Chart under the 150 percent column.)

 

Paid the Penalty for not Having Health Insurance

  • Paid the Individual Shared Responsibility Penalty to California’s Franchise Tax Board because you didn’t have health insurance in the previous tax year.

 

Newly Qualifies for App-Based Driver Stipend

  • New driver for a ride-sharing or delivery company as an independent contractor.

  • Existing driver of a ride-sharing or delivery company who expects to drive enough hours to receive the health care stipend.

Special Enrollment for Wildfire Victims 

  • In response to the wildfires raging across the state, Covered California announced a new category for special enrollment. You can now apply for health insurance outside of open enrollment if you’ve been affected by wildfires. Call us at (800) 650-0922 to see if you’re eligible.

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.