Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act

Deadlines for acquiring health insurance through a Covered California plan

March 31st Paper applications postmarked by this date will be honored by Covered California.
April 15th

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.

April 25th

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.

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Other health insurance options

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:
  • 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

Interactive sites to determine your needs

Self-employed individuals and small businesses

The Small Business Administration has put together a glossary of health care reform terms to help you understand the new laws.

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.


"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."



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."


Pre-existing conditions

A pre-existing condition is defined as “a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts.” Source:

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.


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:

State – California

County/City – San Francisco

A PowerPoint presentation of Covered California (PDF) authored by the Health Service System, City and County of San Francisco.


Resources for librarians

Other language resources

Contact information

Federal 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.
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