Covered California

SF Bay Area

Parent Q&A

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  • Switching to Covered California

    (2 replies)

    I am getting ready to leave my job sometime in the next couple of months, which means losing my employer sponsored healthcare for my family. I am confused by the Covered California website, and wondered if anyone has recently been through this transition. Is a voluntary separation from employment a covered life event? Do I have to buy COBRA for some period of time? (perhaps as a bridge?) How long does it take to have your application approved? (website says up to 45 days, which seems like a long time to go without insurance!) Are there more local (Berkeley to Pinole) dentists available through the DHMO or DPPO? Thanks for any thoughts.

    I have been using Cover California since it started.  I do not know all the answers to your questions. I believe, yes a change in jobs is a qualifying life event even if you institute the change.  For your other questions give them a call.  Phone number on the website gets answered by helpful, knowledgeable people.  Every time I have called over the years I have gotten the help I need to navigate the system. 

    Hope that's helpful.  Good luck.

    My husband and I just signed up with Covered California and had excellent assistance from Steve Moeller, Principal Advisor, at SDMI Insurance. He answered our many questions (we joined after deciding our COBRA coverage was too expensive)  about the eligibility and application process and was incredibly responsive. There is no cost. He's located in Fremont and his number/email is (510) 284-2125 and steve [at]

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My husband and I were in a similar situation last year.  We were both unemployed and found out we were expecting our first child.  I called Covered California to see what kind of health care we qualified for.  The staff there helped us get MediCAL.  MediCAL is based on income, not savings.  It was the biggest blessing and such a life saver.  

You may be able to extend your health insurance coverage through one of your previous employers. Look into cobra:

Also look into whether you can purchase health insurance through California's exchanged (ACA/Obamacare) outside of the usual open enrollment due to a "qualifying event".  It looks like you can enroll if you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance.

Congratulations on your move! My husband is self employed and until recently, I did not receive health benefits through my job, so we have always purchased our own health insurance. With the Afforable Care Act, you can purchase insurance through Covered California. Usually, there is an open enrollment window to sign up, which is Nov-Jan, but when you move you can sign up for plans at the time of your move (moving states or large distances, not from one neighborhood to another). You can call them if you have questions from the website. I have found them to be very helpful. All the best!