Covered California: How To Apply For Health Insurance

Brandon R. Amaral, CFP®, EA
Brandon R. Amaral, CFP®, EA

Founder & Financial Planner, Amaral Financial Planning

Whether you’re self-employed, unemployed, or working for a small business, it might seem like there aren’t any health insurance options for you. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Established back in 2011 (following the passing of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act), Covered California is a health insurance marketplace that allows individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance at federally subsidized rates.

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Here is what you should know about Covered California:

Do you need health insurance?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – right? While maintaining a healthy lifestyle may reduce the number of doctor’s visits you need, life happens. Accidents, genetic conditions, and global pandemics can cause the need for surprise doctor visits, which can be very expensive if you are not properly insured.

California also has a health insurance mandate. Effective January 1, 2020, California residents are required to obtain and maintain qualifying health insurance throughout the year. For 2022, the penalty for not having coverage was $850 per adult and $425 per dependent under 18. A family of four could have faced a $2,550 penalty if they went uninsured for the whole year.

Where to apply?

There are three ways to apply for health insurance through Covered California:

  • Applying online
  • Applying with a Certified Enroller
  • Applying by phone

To apply online, you can visit

To apply with a Certified Enroller, you can make an appointment at a local enrollment center here

To apply by phone, you can complete this online form to request a representative call you, or you can call (800) 300-1506.

How to apply?

To start the application process, you will need to provide information such as:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Proof of identity documents
  • Current and expected income for the year
  • Information about your partner, spouse, or dependents

How much will it cost?

Covered California has a helpful tool to give you an idea of what your estimated health insurance cost will be. You can get a quote without creating an account or providing any personal information! To get a quote:

  • Go to
  • Enter your expected household income for the year
  • Enter your zip code
  • Enter the age of everyone in your household that needs insurance

Here is an example of a family of four in the Bay Area earning $100,000 a year:

Here is an example of a family of four in the Bay Area earning $200,000 a year:

Understanding the resources available can help ensure that your family is properly insured and avoid unnecessary tax penalties. If you would like to work with a financial planner to walk you through your options, I would love to help you!

To learn more about becoming a client, schedule a complimentary meeting now!

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered advice or recommendations. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of Amaral Financial Planning, LLC, unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. You should consult your financial advisor, tax professional or legal counsel prior to implementation.