You can enroll in Covered California through their website, coveredca.com, or through a local county human services office, but only during the annual open enrollment period. There are some exceptions for qualifying life events, such as job loss or sudden loss of health coverage.
The Covered California open enrollment period generally begins in mid-November and ends in mid-February of the following year. During this time, any resident of the state can apply online through the Covered California website. Local county human services offices may also be able to assist applicants, particularly those with low or no income who qualify for subsidies.
There are a number of exceptions for life events that allow people to enroll outside of the open enrollment period, however. These include removal from a parental plan due to turning 26, moving to California from another state, being released from a correctional facility, marriage or obtaining citizenship. Members of federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribes also have an exception and may change their coverage once per month if desired. Covered California also has the authority to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis to those that can demonstrate exceptional circumstances that are not otherwise listed. Enrollment must begin within 60 days after the date of the qualifying life event.