Covered California is the government run agency that helps you obtain a subsidy if you buy your insurance through them. The insurance plans offered are from Blue Shield of CA, Kaiser, Anthem, HealthNet and so on. Covered California has had complaints of long wait times and inaccurate information. Employees of Covered California are licensed agents. Independent brokers can represent Covered California as well. The main reason a person uses Covered California is to obtain a government subsidy on their insurance premium. Previously it was a program for those who make under a poverty level income. An often-ignored rule dictates that if your spouse works for an employer who offers health insurance to their employees and family but that employer doesn’t pay for the family insurance, those family members cannot get a subsidy. That rule still exists. This is an important Gotcha for later. It may take several years but eventually the family member will have to pay back the subsidy. Rude but true. Legally a copy of that rule needs to be distributed to employees at their open enrollment.
Much of this information is not new. What is new are the new income levels that allow members to obtain a sizable subsidy if they enroll with Covered California. Recently a client of mine obtained a very nice subsidy and makes $250,000 per year. He is keeping the same plan but channeling it through Covered California. Folks those are your tax dollars at work. Eventually Covered California will own most of the individual health insurance market. I predict that many insurance companies will stop offering individual health insurance. The market will look more like what Great Britian provides. If you want to hear about that, email me.