Covered California open enrollment begins. What to know about signing up, subsidies and more
The first days of CA’s marketplace open enrollment
The first day of California’s open enrollment period is here, and millions of people are expected to sign up for coverage between Jan. 1 and March 31.
Most of us, of course, have a standard health plan, whether we like it or not. Some of us have children. Others of us don’t. And we have friends, family and, yes, pets that we hope are covered. And maybe they are.
California’s Affordable Care Act requires you to buy coverage in the marketplace if you qualify, whether you want it or not. And if you don’t qualify, you can get a tax credit to make up the difference. The question is whether you’re better off without health insurance or whether you need insurance so you can get what you want and need.
A little more than 24 hours into open enrollment, the questions are getting sorted out.
Here are a few things you should know about how enrollment works, at least when it comes to coverage you can get without breaking the bank.
Who needs health insurance?
One thing we know for sure is that many Americans, particularly people who don’t have employer-provided coverage or access to their parents’ policies, need insurance.
Some of California’s new open-enrollment period is about getting health coverage for kids and young adults. When you’re on your parents’ plan and your own, you’re not out there breaking down the doors of the local pharmacy. You get the care you need, and probably a little extra.
But as the Affordable Care Act gets more people into coverage, it faces the challenge of how to make health coverage affordable for everyone. This means that, for example, everyone must get something from the marketplace. For many people, the answer comes down to what they need to pay for.
We know some health plans won’t be affordable for many, many people. On average