Deadlines for acquiring health insurance through a Covered California plan
|March 31st||Paper applications postmarked by this date will be honored by Covered California.|
Anyone who was unable to start the application process via the Web now has until April 15th to get health insurance. Rather than attempt to start an online application, please visit or call a certified Covered California counselor or agent.
Consumers who started an online application by creating a first page by 11:59 p.m. on March 31st, must complete the application. This can be done online without assistance, or by visiting a Covered California counselor or agent.
Your first monthly premium payment is due. You make a premium payment to your insurance company. Do not mail checks to Covered California payable to "Covered California." Contact your insurance company for details. Your coverage will not start unless you make a payment.
|May 1st||Date your health insurance coverage will begin.|
Find Help Near You
- Search for a certified Covered California agent or counselor by zip code.
- Call Covered California by phone at (800)300-1506 (for English); other languages may be found on this page.
- Contact Covered California by FAX at (888)329-3700.
- The state of California is one of 36 states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and therefore may extend the deadline to April 15th. Other states may have set different due dates. Oregon, for example, has extended its deadline to April 30th. Search for a health insurance marketplace by state.
Other health insurance options
- If you are low income or disabled you may be eligible for Medi-Cal. You may apply for Medi-Cal year round. Find a Medi-Cal office in your county.
- Information about Covered California and Medi-Cal.
San Francisco residents who do not have coverage and need Medi-Cal can contact the local Medi-Cal Health Connections Office:1440 Harrison Street (between 10th Street and 11th)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Call (415) 863-9892 or toll free (855)-355-5757
Email them at SFMedi-Cal@sfgov.org
Apply online at https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/
- If you are low income but are not eligible for Medi-Cal, you may qualify for the City’s Healthy San Francisco program or the City's Healthy Kids plan.
- If you are not a California resident and do not have health insurance, you can find a health center near you.
If you miss the April 15th deadline
- After April 15th, you can still get new private health insurance for 2014 but only through special enrollment. You must have a qualifying life event such as job loss, birth, or divorce to qualify. Source: healthcare.gov
- If you can afford to pay for health insurance but do not have coverage after the deadline, you may be assessed a minimum fine of $95.00.
- The next enrollment period will start on November 15, 2014 and will end on January 15, 2015.
- If you need to appeal an eligibility determination or if you have a complaint about Covered California, fill out this form.
News articles about the April 15th deadline
If you need more information about Covered California or Medi-Cal
- If you’ve signed up for a Covered California plan but forgot your password, need to change your application, haven’t received your health insurance card, etc.
- What is the difference between Medi-Cal and Covered California?
- If you already have an individual insurance plan but are thinking of changing it, review this federal Healthcare.gov site.
Interactive sites to determine your needs
- Plan ahead by using this healthcare.gov site and identifying your insurance options.
- Before you begin the application process, answer less than ten questions and get a list of coverage options, and a personalized checklist of what needs to be done.
- Estimate your out-of-pocket costs for Covered California insurance.
Self-employed individuals and small businesses
- Find out if you are defined as self-employed and the options you have.
- If you have 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees, you may qualify for the SHOP marketplace. If you have 50 or more full time equivalent employees, you may qualify for the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment program.
- If you have 25 or fewer employees, you may qualify for a small business healthcare tax credit.
- As a small business employer do you have to offer coverage at all? Find out here.
- If you already insure your employees, see what changes, if any, affect you.
- Will COBRA coverage be affected by the new reform laws?
- See more information about COBRA and healthcare reform from the perspective of the Department of Labor.
IRS and tax issues
The IRS will play a role in the PPACA, affecting itemized medical deductions, W-2 reporting, and other tax-related topics.
Open enrollment assistance
The clinics and organizations listed below will help you to enroll in an insurance program.
- Find a certified Covered California agent or counselor in San Francisco or anywhere in California.
- Search for an enrollment center anywhere in the United States.
"Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD."
- If you have Medicare is there anything that needs to be done? Find out here.
- See how the new laws will affect your Medicare coverage. Your coverage may include other free services.
- More information about Medicare from California Healthcare Advocates, a non-profit organization. Visit their Health Insurance and Advocacy Program (HICAP)
Medicaid is a "state-administered health insurance program for low-income families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and in some states, other adults. The Federal government provides a portion of the funding for Medicaid and sets guidelines for the program. States also have choices in how they design their program, so Medicaid varies state by state and may have a different name in your state."
A pre-existing condition is defined as “a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts.” Source: Healthcare.gov
The law itself
Signed into law on March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) went into effect on October 1, 2013. The PPACA is commonly referred to as Obamacare.
- Department of Health and Human Services features highlights of the PPACA.
- The UCLA School of Law has created a resource page on federal legislation, bill summaries, etc.
State - national
Representing all 50 states, the National Conference of State Legislatures provides information on the PPACA and its health benefit plans, implementation, and other policy issues.
State – California
State Assembly; Committee on Health; Special Session on the PPACA.
Research and statistics
The National Library of Medicine provides abstracts and full text articles on the PPACA. Articles range from policy law, governance, the impact of the PPACA, etc. Enter “PPACA” in the search box at this site: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
State – California
- California State Auditor July 2013 report on Covered California and its financial sustainability.
- Legislative Analyst’s Office – “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: An Overview of Its Potential Impact on State Health Programs.”
- Department of Insurance – List of reforms currently in force and reforms to be implemented in 2014.
- Factors Affecting Premium Rates in California 2014 a Milliman Client Report prepared for Covered California.
County/City – San Francisco
A PowerPoint presentation of Covered California (PDF) authored by the Health Service System, City and County of San Francisco.
- The Institute of Medicine, a non-profit organization, aids the government and private sector in making informed decisions concerning health issues. Enter “PPACA” in the search box.
- San Francisco Public Library card holders can access full text articles via our Articles and Databases page. Suggested databases include Opposing Viewpoints, Rand California, Consumer Health Complete, etc.
- Since 1923, CQ Researcher has reported on health, criminal justice, international affairs, etc. San Francisco Public Library does not have online access to CQ Researcher; however print copies for the years 1991 – current are available at the Main Library, including the article “Assessing the New Health Care Law,” dated September 21, 2012.
Resources for librarians
- Resources for library staff authored by the American Library Association
- OCLC WebJunction – view archived webinars relating to the Affordable Care Act.
- Researching since World War II, RAND analyzes health, education, the environment, and public policy issues.
- National Network of Libraries of Medicine - information and resources for California libraries.
- Affordable Care Act Resources for California Public Library Staff by Infopeople.org
Other language resources
- Healthcare.gov. Choose from Cantonese, French, French Creole, Russian, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and German.
- Covered California. Select the drop down menu for Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- Health Insurance Marketplace - Materials in Other Languages
- Downloadable pamphlets in English and Spanish from publications.usa.gov
- Healthcare.gov Help Center
- 1-800-318-2596. Available 24 / 7
For small businesses: 1-800-706-7893. Available 9-5pm (EST)
- Covered California
- 1- 888-975-1142
Send a fax, request more information, or submit your application.