When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, Covered California became the Golden State’s health insurance exchange marketplace. This marketplace has since allowed both individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance at lower costs.

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, “How do I sign up for Covered California and subsidy plans?” Before you can, you’ll need to apply for Covered California to determine what you’re eligible for. Under the ACA, most U.S. citizens must have coverage to avoid paying penalties when tax season rolls around.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for Covered California is online through the Covered California website. However, a paper application is also available for download if you prefer. Residents must sign up during the open enrollment period, which ends Feb. 6 this year. After that, you can sign up through the special enrollment section of the website if you lose your health coverage, have income changes, or other special circumstances that require a new insurance plan. Medi-Cal enrollment is also open all year.

Covered California offers options for private health insurance, while programs like Medi-Cal and Medicare are in the public sector. You cannot hold coverage in both private and public programs at the same time, so Covered California is ideal for those who want some choice in their coverage plans.

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How do I know which plan to choose?

When determining which insurance plan you want to go with, things can get tricky. With various options available to you (here are last year’s), it can be difficult to decide which has everything you need. If you can’t understand the choices provided, it’s best to get help from a professional who can break them down for you, answer any questions you might have and help you make an informed decision. Insurance companies that participate in Covered California’s marketplace include Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Anthem Blue Cross of California and seven others.

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How do I find an insurance broker to help me apply for Covered California?

California Exchange Plans is a certified Covered California agency for 2016, making them the ideal company to help you review your options and purchase a health care plan. They are also able to help you determine if you’re eligible for a subsidy as well as compare prices across the market. With over 15 years of experience, you know you’re getting the highest level of customer service with California Exchange Plans. To get started, give us a call at 714-960-4700 or contact us using our online form.