If you don't already have health insurance coverage, you can purchase coverage through the state's online health insurance marketplace, known as Covered California. The Covered California website (www.coveredca.com) lets you comparison-shop among competing private health insurance plans. Depending on income, you may qualify for assistance (tax credits and subsidies) to reduce your cost. This assistance is only available for plans purchased through Covered California, and is automatically applied to your purchase. You must be a citizen or legal resident to purchase coverage through Covered California.
Generally you must enroll during the Open Enrollment period. Open Enrollment for 2017 coverage runs from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. If you want your coverage to start on January 1, 2017, be sure to enroll by December 15, 2016.
You can also enroll within 60 days of a "qualifying life event" that changes your coverage needs, such as marriage, birth, a permanent move, or the loss of employer-provided coverage. For more information, call (888) 975-1142, or visit www.coveredca.com.