Your Health Coverage Options
Health Care Options Available Now:
The Medi-Cal program helps pay for a wide variety of medical services for children and adults with low incomes. Nearly all Californians who legally reside in the state who make under approximately $16,105 (for an individual) qualify for Medi-Cal. You may automatically be eligible for Medi-Cal if you receive cash assistance under one of the following programs:
- CalFresh (formerly known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP)
- SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Program)
- CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids), previously called Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
- Refugee Assistance
- Foster Care or Adoption Assistance Program
Find your county health office for more information on county programs here. To apply for Medi-Cal, visit coveredca.com. To apply in-person, visit your county’s social services office or your local community health center. To apply by phone, call 1-800-300-1506.
California counties administer health care safety net programs and are “providers of last resort” for uninsured Californians with no other source of care. Eligibility requirements and the scope of services provided vary by county. To find out if you may be eligible for county-administered health coverage, contact your county’s social services office or visit your local community health center. Make sure to make an appointment in advance!
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace. If you do not qualify for Medi-Cal, you can compare and purchase affordable health plans through Covered California. Middle and lower-income families and individuals can receive premium assistance to help cover some of the cost of coverage.
The enrollment period for plans through Covered California takes place between November 15, 2014 and February 15, 2015.
Exceptions exist for those who have qualifying life events. The law provides for individuals to enroll outside of open enrollment periods if they experience changes in their lives such as moving to a new state, changes to income, and changes to family status (including marriage, divorce, and the birth of a child). If you experience a qualifying life event, you may be eligible to purchase a plan outside of the normal enrollment period. Visit www.coveredca.com to learn more.
If you are not enrolled in health coverage beginning April 2014, you may be subject to a penalty. The penalty is calculated according to how long you have been uninsured at the time you file your next tax return. The sooner you enroll, the lower your penalty will be. Penalties can total up to one percent of your total annual income.