Individual Open Enrollment Shoppers Guide

Published: November 3, 2021

First time shopper’s guide to getting a health plan

If you are shopping for a health plan for the first time, the process can be daunting. So, whether you are cyber-savvy or would like personal help over the phone, these health plan tips will help you select the best 2022 plan for you and your family.

Who & Where to Enroll

California residents who cannot get health insurance through an employer, may shop and enroll in a Western Health Advantage plan through Covered California (, where you may qualify for a subsidy. 

If you are unsure if you qualify for a subsidy (i.e. financial help in paying for health insurance), contact WHA’s individual sales team or your health insurance agent for help in walking you through your options. 

Steps to Take 

1. Gather a few things to make your shopping more effective

  • Names and ages of everyone you’ll want on your plan
  • Your household income (last year’s tax return for reference) if you think you are eligible for a subsidy/financial assistance
  • Your preferred doctors, hospitals and prescriptions, in case you want to check coverage and see if the doctors you prefer to see are in network

2. Review the plans available @

Financial Assistance. Qualifying for a subsidy is based on income. You can go to, select individual/family plans, and enter in information such as your zip code and ages of those who will be covered by the plan. When you see that you qualify for a subsidy, you can talk to WHA representatives or go online to to enroll in a WHA plan.

  • Know Your Medical Care Budget. Consider your overall health and health care expenses in the past year. You can select a plan with cost ranges for your premium, deductible (if applicable) and out-of-pocket maximum. For example, Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, but you will have a higher deductible to meet when you get care.
  • Personal Shopper. Whether or not you qualify for a subsidy, or if you simply want to work directly with a health plan, you can get personalized assistance by phone:
    • Browse WHA’s available health plans online at
    • Call WHA’s individual sales team: 916.563.2250 or 888.563.2250 toll-free or call your health insurance agent. One of our team members or your agent can discuss choices that fit your specific budget and health situation, such as making sure your plan covers your prescriptions or which plan is best If you have new medical need, or additional family members that need to be on your plan.

Mark your Calendar: Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2021 – through January 31, 2022. If you need coverage by January 1, 2022, you’ll need to enroll by December 31, 2021.

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