The market for individual health insurance coverage remains strong in California, despite the ongoing drama in Washington about the Affordable Care Act. In addition, monthly subsidies to help you pay for coverage are still available and are expected to be available in 2018 (More info below).

Individuals and families can buy health insurance policies during two periods of the year:

  • Open Enrollment: Open enrollment for 2018 policies starts November 15 and will run until at least December 15. During the period, anyone can sign up for coverage without going through medical underwriting (aka “pre-existing conditions”).
  • Special Enrollment: After Open Enrollment ends and before the next one starts, you have to have a Qualifying Event in your life to get private health insurance. Examples of Qualifying Events including loss of employer coverage, newly relocating to California, having a baby, and getting married (or forming a domestic partnership).

Getting an Obamacare Subsidy

Individuals and families earning less than 400% of the federal poverty line may be eligible for a monthly subsidy to help them pay for health insurance. For example, a single person who reports Adjusted Gross Income of less than $47,520, and a family of three that reports less than $80,640, may be eligible for a subsidy. You can find out if you may be eligible on Covered California’s Preview Plans page – all you need to do is tell them your zip code, estimated annual income, and the ages of your family members.


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