Covered California: Special Enrollment Begins

Consumers can enroll in a Covered California health plan or change their current plan only during Open Enrollment unless they experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE)— this is called a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). During this period, Certified Enrollers may assist all consumers eligible for a Special Enrollment; they do not have the ability to complete new or in-progress applications without a defined Qualifying Life Event.

New Additions and Changes to the QLE Drop-Down Menu

Beginning February 1, 2023, new Qualifying Life Event selections are available in the CalHEERS Special Enrollment drop-down menu.The QLE drop-down menu now includes the following:

  • Newly qualifies for health insurance stipend
    • Individuals in industries who are new to a company that offers health insurance stipends or individuals who are currently working for a company and newly eligible for a stipend due to an increase in working hours, may qualify for this SEP. For example, drivers for app-based companies may qualify but should confirm with their company that they offer the stipend.
  • State of Emergency: Impacted by winter storms
    • Californians affected by a natural disaster that results in a Governor’s State of Emergency proclamation may qualify for this SEP through March 5, 2023.

Note: Special Enrollment does not apply to Medi-Cal applicants. These individuals can apply for coverage anytime during the year and do not need a Qualifying Life Event to gain coverage.

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