California health insurance  -  Covered California Questions  -  Missed Open enrollment deadline  

What if you missed the health insurance deadline?

What if you missed open enrollment for health insurance


After Jan 15th, we get many frantic emails and calls.


I missed the deadline for what?


The concern is real.


There's the little issue of not having health insurance in case something big comes up.


We get calls weekly where someone is paying off a $20K bill to a hospital.



You can jump to one of the three main options available here:



Enough of the theatrics. We're here to help you navigate the market.


There's even a new option that is very popular and we can enroll year round!


What can we do if we missed the deadline?

Three options available if you missed the deadline.


First, a quick recap.


The Open Enrollment typically runs each year from November 1st to the following Jan 15th.


There may be special windows such as around tax time for limited re-opening of the market but we can't count on these.


These restrictions apply to both off-exchange (direct to carrier) and on-exchange (Covered California plans).


Medi-cal may be available year round if you qualify based on income.

Otherwise, we have to wait till Nov 1st (with Jan 1st eff date) unless we qualify for a SEP

SEP or Special Enrollment TriggersSEP - Special Enrollment Periods




As part of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), there are certain triggers that allow people to enroll if they missed the Open Enrollment window


These generally revolve around large life changes.


The most common triggers are:


  • Involuntary loss of coverage such as employer sponsored health plans
  • Move to/within California that results in different health plan options
  • Household changes - marriage, divorce, birth, deaths, additions, etc
  • Changes in legal status


There are some other less common triggers but we can help you take advantage of your changes.


You can quote Covered Ca with Tax Credits here if you have a SEP:


how to quote Covered California plans


We'll also see if you qualify for the very generous tax credits available. We can generally cut the time to calculate this from 45 minutes down to 5


Call us at 800-320-6269 to enroll with your life changes. Our services are free as Certified Covered California agents.


Eligible effective dates with SEP's


If you've missed the open enrollment deadline and are using an SEP to enroll, there are rules for the possible effective date.


  • If you are losing coverage, we can enroll for the following 1st of the month
  • For other qualifiers, we need to enroll by the 15th of the prior month to the get the next 1st of the month.


Otherwise, we'll get the next 1st after.


We need to complete enrollment within 60 days of the qualifying event (loss of coverage for example).


Don't delay or we can miss the Special Enrollment Period altogether!


Enrollment takes 5 minutes over the phone at 800-320-6269.


What if you do not have a big life change and missed the insurance enrollment window?

Our backup option.

Get short term health coverage till open enrollmentShort term interim coverage for people who missed open enrollment deadline




We used to have an option to carry you out to the next Open Enrollment period (or SEP).


It was interim coverage with IHC and sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross.


UPDATE:  California banned all short term health insurance plans eff 9/1/2018.

In California we now only have AlieraCare health sharing InterimCare plans.

You can quote AlieraCare short term plans here.


Some quick notes on the previous IHC coverage


  • Costs can be much lower on the short term plan compared to ACA plans with no tax credit
  • The coverage does not help you avoid the penalty for not having coverage
  • You can pay monthly or pre-pay a period of time for a discount
  • Coverage can start as of midnight following app submittal
  • This plan can carry you out to open enrollment start


This is a great option (maybe the only option) for people who missed the deadline and do not want to go uninsured.


It's a simplified issue policy which means that if we can answer "no" to the health questions, we should qualify.


We have been waiting for a good short term bridge plan option for years now.


Having Anthem Blue Cross sponsor this policy through IHC fills a definite need in the market.


Quote short term health here until Open Enrollment:


Quote short term health plans


Again, the quote and enrollment option is completely online. Quote here.

Health Sharing with AlieraCare


This is the new kid on the block but not for long.


Roughly 30% of the non-subsidized renewals went with AlieraCare this past Open Enrollment.


That's an impressive entry to the market.


Here's why Health Sharing will probably be the popular route outside of Open Enrollment.

  • Can enroll enroll any time of the year
  • No tax penalty if you have health sharing plans
  • Catastrophic type coverage
  • Much lower rates than unsubsidized ACA plans
  • AlieraCare does not decline but has waiting periods for pre-existing

Make sure to learn about how it works below since it is new to most people.

You can find out more about the best option, AlieraCare here.

You can quote and enroll for AlieraCare here


Recap if you have missed the open enrollment deadline


First, look to see if you qualify for a SEP. We can help you with the rules on this.


Secondly, you can get a short term plan to cover you till Open Enrollment or your next coverage.


Call 800-320-6269 for any questions on which option is best for your situation. Our services are free to you!


You can run your Health Plan Until Open Enrollment Quote here to view rates and plans side by side from the major carriers...Free.


Again, there is absolutely no cost to you for our services.  Call 800-320-6269 Today!


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20 years of experience in the California health insurance market has taught us one thing...Competent and experienced guidance is Invaluable

We can quickly (very important) size up your health insurance needs and clearly explain the options available to you. Our focus is finding the most coverage at the best cost to you.

We are licensed Covered Ca agents with in-depth knowledge of their plans, process, and tax credits.

Call will be Pleasantly Surprised.  800-320-6269

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We'll quickly see if you have the best priced plan available and if you qualify for a tax credit

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