April 30 is quickly approaching and with it the deadline for eligible, yet uninsured Californians to enroll in private individual and family health coverage through Covered California if they did not realize there was a tax penalty for not being covered. While this deadline does not affect Medi-Cal enrollment, which is available year round, why not get covered now if you qualify? Here are some steps you should take to make sure you are covered.
Learn which coverage option is best for you and your family.
Visit www.coveredca.com and use the “Shop and Compare” tool to determine if you qualify for a private plan through Covered California – possibly with financial assistance to cover some costs – or low to no-cost Medi-Cal. If you are a DREAMer with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) you may be eligible for state-funded Medi-Cal.
Apply for your chosen plan with the help you need.
Making the important decision to enroll is a big step, but with all of the different options for assistance, it’s not so scary. Help is available from Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Insurance Agents who are certified by Covered California, or from a county eligibility worker with your local human services agency. They can assist you in applying for Medi-Cal and private plans.
Use your benefits and stay healthy.
Having coverage is great – especially if you use it. Take your new benefits and visit your doctor for an annual wellness check-up or to receive free preventive services like immunizations, mammograms and mental health screenings.
Renew your coverage.
Private plans through Covered California will automatically renew each year unless you decide to change your plan or your eligibility has changed. In 2015, counties will be able to renew Medi-Cal coverage for most members automatically. If your county is able to verify all of your information, your coverage will be renewed and you will get a notice with this information. If not, you will receive a renewal form to fill out and return to your local human services agency.
Get covered after April 30.
Californians can still enroll in private plans through Covered California after April 30 if they experience a “qualifying life event”. Some of these events include getting married or entering into a domestic partnership, having or adopting a child, income changes that alter your eligibility status or becoming a citizen. Click here for more information.
Everyone deserves to have the information they need to enroll into coverage and stay healthy. Make sure your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors have what they need to enroll. Keep yourself informed by following The California Endowment on Facebook and Twitter.
Get affordable, quality coverage today.