In special circumstances, some may still enroll in Covered Cal

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Covered California’s annual open-enrollment period may be over, but a special enrollment period will continue until Oct. 31, for some individuals. These individuals must sign up for coverage within 60 days of the qualifying life event.

The following circumstances are among the more common reasons individuals become eligible for special enrollment:

  • Losing health coverage, for example, because of losing or changing jobs.
  • Marriage or entering a domestic partnership.
  • Having or adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or in foster care.
  • Turning 26 years old.
  • Moving to California or a new region within California
  • Becoming a citizen — a U.S. national or a lawfully present individual.
  • Other special-enrollment situations and qualifying events can be found at www.coveredca.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/special-enrollment/qualifying-life-events/.

Missing the 60-day period to enroll means these individuals must wait for the next open enrollment period. Financial assistance is available to individuals or families who meet one of these special circumstances.

Covered California estimates that households received an average of $5,300 per year in tax credits to help pay for the cost of health coverage in 2016. Also, 12 percent of Covered California households receive more than $10,000 per year, and 16 percent of individuals receive more than $6,000 per year to help bring health coverage within reach.

About half of Covered California members are enrolled in “Enhanced Silver” plans, which give them the added benefit of cost-sharing reductions that reduce their out-of-pocket expenses by an average of $1,500 per year.

A new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that California’s uninsured rate has fallen to a record low of 7.1 percent, which is significantly lower than the 17 percent uninsured in 2013.

For more information on special-enrollment rules, visit www.CoveredCA.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/special-enrollment.

Those who qualify for Medi-Cal may enroll through Covered California year-round. For more information, visit CoveredCA.com, where you can enroll online or get information about obtaining free, confidential, in-person assistance in a variety of languages. You can also enroll over the phone by calling Covered California at 1-800-300-1506.

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