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Open enrollment for Covered California, the state’s insurance marketplace, begins November 1, 2016.

You can save yourself time and stress by setting up an appointment now with a Freeway broker to help you select the best plan for your health and your budget. At Freeway Insurance, we will help guide you to any free or low cost plans for which you may qualify – just call us at 877-860-6316, visit one of our stores, or get a free health quote online today!

Important Open Enrollment Dates

November 1, 2016: Open enrollment begins
December 15, 2016: Last day to sign up for health insurance so your policy will begin January 1, 2017.
January 1, 2017: Your insurance plan will be activated if you enrolled by December 15, 2016.
January 31, 2017: Open enrollment ends.

What happens if I miss open enrollment?

If you miss the January 31, 2017 deadline, you will have to wait to obtain health insurance through Covered California until November 2017. However, if you experience a qualifying life event such as a job loss, marriage, or the birth of a child, you can enroll during special enrollment.

Here’s a list of qualifying life events that allow you to enroll during special enrollment.

Even after the open enrollment period ends, options like Medi-Cal and CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program) are available for low-income individuals and families year round. If you own a small business you may qualify to purchase SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) for your employees.

How much does Obamacare insurance cost?

Rates vary by the plan category you choose (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, or catastrophic) coverage levels desired and other factors, including:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Number of dependents you claim on your tax return
  • Where you live
  • Tobacco use (smokers pay more than non-smokers)

Freeway has obtained government health care financial assistance for over 90% of its customers. Freeway does not charge any enrollment fees or down payments for health insurance.

What’s covered under my Obamacare health insurance plan?

The Affordable Care Act requires that each health plan include 10 essential health benefits:

  • Ambulatory patient services, or outpatient care
  • Emergency Services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health services and addiction treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive services, wellness services, and chronic disease treatment
  • Pediatric services

What is the penalty for not having health insurance?

The Federal Affordable Care Act law requires health insurance coverage. If you have more than a three-month gap in coverage, you will likely receive a tax penalty.

For tax year 2016, the penalty is 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, to a maximum of $2,085 per household.

The tax penalty for not having insurance in 2017 will be determined by the rate of inflation. Government assistance may need to be repaid if you have a substantial increase in income.