Choose Smart California: Finding the Right Plan

My Patient Rights > Choose Smart California: Finding the Right Plan

Choose Smart California: Finding the Right Plan

If you live in California, it’s not too late to switch your plan or sign up for coverage. Unlike the rest of the nation, California’s annual open enrollment period ends January 31.

As open enrollment comes to a close, we want to provide some final tips on how to select a plan that’s right for you. Choosing a health plan can feel overwhelming, but doing the research on the front end can help you save a lot of time and headache later on. We’ve already offered a health plan guide that provides insights on types of plans and a glossary of important terms to help you get started.

So, where can you start looking for plans when you’re ready to begin your search?

  1. Online, visit the federal marketplace or a state exchange via gov/ or
  2. On the phone, call the marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596
  3. Directly on an insurer’s website
  4. Via a local health insurance broker

Looking online can be especially helpful, as and offer tools to compare plans. Once you have a better idea of available plans, you can use other resources, like an insurer’s website or the marketplace call center, to help answer any remaining questions.

When you’re ready to compare plans, you can use our checklist to ensure you’re choosing the plan that best fits your health needs. Here are some questions you may want to consider:

  • Does this plan allow me to continue seeing my current doctor?
  • Is there a specific hospital that I must use?
  • Will this plan cover my current prescriptions?
  • Does this plan restrict which pharmacy I can use?

Once you’re confident you’ve chosen the best plan for you, you’re ready to sign up!

You can also refer to this packet for information on how to get the best use of your new health insurance. Inside, you’ll find tips on things like understanding your benefits, knowing where to go for care, and finding a primary care provider.

As a reminder, to purchase an insurance plan outside of the open enrollment period, you must qualify for special enrollment. The Special Enrollment Period (SEP) allows you to apply for health insurance if you are eligible via a qualifying life event, such as:

  • Losing your job
  • Moving to a new state
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Becoming a widow or widower
  • Aging off your parent’s plan
  • Having a new baby

My Patient Rights is here to help during Open Enrollment—and every day!

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State and federal law protects your rights. When you sign up for a health plan and/or if you have problems accessing care through your health plan, it is important to know your rights.