Published: November 4, 2019
As of October 15, 2019 California residents who cannot get a health plan through their employer are able to shop and enroll in a number of health plans through Covered California, California's health benefit exchange. Western Health Advantage plans for 2020 are among those available during Covered California’s open enrollment period. Whether you are currently uninsured or already enrolled in a Covered California plan, this open enrollment period is offered to all who are eligible for Covered California.
Coverage that you sign up for can become effective as of January 1, 2020. For coverage to be effective then, enrollment must be completed by December 15, 2019.
Open enrollment closes on Jan. 31, 2020. The open enrollment period will likely be the only time during the year you will be able to purchase or change plans, barring a major life change, such as the loss of a job or the birth of a child.
Covered California offers premium assistance to ensure coverage is affordable. Families and individuals who fall within certain income levels are eligible for financial help to lower the monthly payment of their health plan premiums. Some may even be eligible for assistance with out-of-pocket costs as well.
Health Plan Considerations
After October 15, you can make changes to your health plan. If you have new medical needs, additional family members, and other considerations, it is time to for a tune up.
You may even need to make a complete change. Not all health plans are created equal. What worked for you in the past might no longer suit the needs of you and/or your family.
Here are some considerations when choosing a health plan:
- What core benefits are most important to you? Will the health plan help you reach your health goals?
- How much is the premium? If it’s low, is there a high deductible?
- What additional costs should you take into account? Weigh factors like premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Coverage for your family may be especially important.
- Is there a high-quality hospital nearby? What network of doctors and hospitals will you have access to? Do they coordinate care between locations?
- Is the health plan easy to use and is their customer service great? You want a health plan that’s easy to work with, professional, courteous, and able to answer all your questions.
- Are your prescription drugs covered and how are they covered?
Tip: Use a health insurance agent to advise you if this decision has the potential to keep you up at night. Ask him or her to match your needs, rather than tell you what you need. A creditable agent should also know the reputation of the health plans in your area and the quality of their customer service.
For those enrolled through Covered California, visit CoveredCA.com/Renew to update your information. The premium assistance you may be eligible for in 2020 will vary based on changes in your household size, income, and the health insurance rates in your area.
If you are enrolled through Covered California or in an Individual Advantage plan direct with WHA, your WHA renewal notice is on its way – it also can be found at mywha.org. Learn about your coverage options online by logging into your MyWHA account to compare plans. If you don’t have a MyWHA account, sign up for one at mywhaorg/signup.