Covered California opens special enrollment period for wildfire victims


In an effort to help Californians who have been affected by the historic wildfires burning across the state, Covered California announced a special-enrollment period for those living in counties where a state of emergency has been declared. Thousands of people have been displaced and hundreds of businesses and homes have been destroyed by wildfires in Nevada, Alpine, Butte, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties.

“The wildfires have disrupted the lives of thousands of people across the state, and we want to make sure those affected know they can get financial help to have quality health care coverage,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, in a press release. “Providing this path to coverage will ensure that those who have been affected by the fires have an opportunity to get quality coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal.”

This new enrollment opportunity will allow these Californians to benefit from the new and expanded financial help from the American Rescue Plan that is offered through Covered California. The new law ensures that everyone eligible will spend no more than 8.5% of their household income on their health insurance premiums, which is dramatically reducing the cost of coverage for lower-income Californians and helping middle-income Californians save hundreds of dollars a month on their plans.

The most recent data shows that nearly 700,000 enrollees now have quality coverage through brand-name health plans for $1 per month.

“The American Rescue Plan is making coverage more affordable than ever,” Lee said. “We want to make sure that people who have had their lives disrupted, or who need health insurance, know that they can turn to Covered California to sign up for coverage.”

Consumers who live in counties under a state of emergency have 60 days from the date the emergency was declared to sign up for coverage.


Covered California is working with the more than 10,000 licensed insurance agents and community-based organizations statewide to help Californians sign up and understand their coverage options through phone-based service models.

Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible for Medi-Cal or other forms of financial help and see which plans are available in their area by using the Shop and Compare Tool and entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage.

Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can also:

  • Get free and confidential assistance over the phone, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller
  • Have a certified enroller call them and help them for free

Call Covered California at 800-300-1506.


Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit

Source: Covered California

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