A Healthier California Starts With Coverage 

Despite changes at the federal level, California is leading the way on Health Care Reform and carrying out important reforms to improve health coverage for all. Due to recent federal enrollment period changes, many consumers are unsure if there is still time and opportunities to enroll in health insurance.

CaliforniaHealth+ centers are a great first step to finding affordable or no cost health insurance options for yourself or your entire family. 

You may qualify for a Covered California plan with financial assistance, or free or low-cost Medi-Cal, depending on your household income and family size. Check out the 2022 Program Eligibility By Federal Poverty Level  factsheet or ask your CaliforniaHealth+ center to help you enroll!  

Medi-Cal is a program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program that’s been around for a long time. Medi-Cal provides a core set of health benefits, including doctor visits, hospital care, immunization, pregnancy-related services and nursing home care. The Affordable Care Act ensures that all Medi-Cal health plans offer essential health benefits. Medi-Cal has always covered low-income children, pregnant women and families.  On January 1, 2014, California expanded Medi-Cal eligibility to include low-income adults. For many individuals who enroll in Medi-Cal, there is no premium, no co-payment, and no out of pocket cost.  Some households will see affordable costs, such as a low monthly premium.  Medi-Cal also provides dental benefits for adults and children. In general, individuals in Medi-Cal will get the same health benefits available through Covered California at a lower cost.

Click here for more frequently asked questions about Medi-Cal and ask your CaliforniaHealth+ center to help you enroll in Medi-Cal if you qualify! Enrollment into Medi-Cal occurs year-round.

Covered California
Covered California is the place where Californians can get health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( ACA). It’s the only place to get federal premium assistance to help you buy private insurance. 

Covered California includes health, dental, and vision insurance plans. Click here to use the Covered California Shop & Compare Tool to compare quality health plans and choose the one that works best for your health needs and budget.

Open enrollment takes place during the fall, but individuals with qualifying life events can enroll at any time of the year. Medi-Cal enrollment is also year round. Medi-Cal and Covered California use the same application. After you enter your information, you will find out whether you qualify for Medi-Cal or Covered California. 


It is highly recommended that you enroll and renew your health insurance plan during the current Open enrollment period. Consumers who experience a qualifying life event can enroll in a Covered California health insurance plan even outside of the open-enrollment period. This is called special enrollment

Health Coverage Options for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is an important time for women to get the services they need as early in the pregnancy as possible. In California, there are several options for uninsured pregnant women to get health coverage. Contact your CaliforniaHealth+ center for health coverage options available. 

What is the difference between Covered California and Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal offers low-cost or free health coverage to eligible Californian residents with limited income. Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace where Californians can shop for health plans and access financial assistance if they qualify for it. Health plans available through Medi-Cal and Covered California both offer a similar set of important benefits, called essential health benefits.

Not eligible for Medi-Cal or Covered California?
If you are uninsured and are not eligible for Medi-Cal or a plan through Covered California, you may qualify for limited health services offered by your county. These programs are not insurance plans and do not provide full coverage. County health programs are commonly known as “county indigent health” or programs “medically indigent adult” programs. Each county has different rules and services for these programs. Find out more about your county's health program here or contact your CaliforniaHealth+ Center to see what programs are available in your community. 
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