Covered California

What is Covered California?

The Covered California Health Exchange is the government agency offering subsidized Obamacare plans for this state. The California Health Exchange was created to assist citizens and legal residents with applying for marketplace coverage in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). When the law was passed in 2010, each of the 50 states had to decide to either create a state-run health insurance exchange or offer enrollment through a federally-operated exchange. This state chose to create their own exchange and called it “Covered California”.

Update: Open-Enrollment begins November 1, 2023. However, individuals and families with a qualifying life event may enroll now.

How Do I Enroll In a Plan On Covered California?

Know Your Enrollment period

California State health insurance applications are accepted once a year at open enrollment. The next open enrollment period is November 1, 2023 until January 31, 2024. During this time frame, you may apply for a new plan or switch Covered California plans. You do not have to have a special reason to apply. If you miss enrolling during this period, you will not be able to apply for Obamacare coverage until the next open enrollment. Exceptions apply.

You may apply for Covered California health insurance outside of open enrollment if any of the following apply to you:

You have a qualifying life event, such as an involuntary loss of coverage, relocation, a change in marital status, or the birth of a child. To apply for a special enrollment, you must submit an application within 60 days of the event date.

    • You are part of a Federally-recognized American Indian tribe or are an Alaska Native. The open enrollment period does not apply to you. You may apply or switch Covered California plans once a month, if desired.

    • You are eligible for Medi-Cal. You may apply year-round.

Get Started

Begin by getting California health insurance quotes. Select the plan of your choice and submit the online application. If you qualify for Medi-Cal, you can go to or contact your local Medi-Cal office.

After you submit an application, you are not officially enrolled until you pay the first month’s premium. It must be remitted by the due date or your application will not be processed.

As part of the application process, the State Insurance Exchange will electronically verify your identity, citizenship or immigration* status, and your income. Records of other government agencies will be used. If Covered California is unable to verify your information, your application may be processed in one of the following ways:

    • Your application may be marked as “conditionally eligible”. You will be covered for the next 90 days but you will be requested to provide supporting documents in order for the insurance or the subsidy to continue.
    • Your application may be processed for Medi-Cal insurance instead of the health plan you requested through Covered California. Usually, this action is taken if your IRS income records from the prior year were lower than the income listed on your application.



*Note: Verification of immigration status will not be used for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws.