2021 Affordable Health Insurance Plans in California

California is home to what’s generally considered one of the best state-run health exchanges in the country: Covered California. Enrolling is simple. All you need to do is enter your info on their site, and you’re well on your way. Because of COVID-19, there’s extra time to enroll. If you apply for coverage before the last day of the month, your coverage begins the 1st of the following month. Let’s say you need coverage for August 1st – apply by July 31st. It’s as easy as that! 

Highlights and Updates

  • Residents can enroll for ACA-affiliated plans through the state-run marketplace – Covered California.
  • Rolling coverage is available throughout the year due to COVID-19. Apply before the last day of the month for coverage that begins the following month on the 1st. 
  • Short-term health insurance is not available in California.
  • The benchmark premium for health insurance in California is $423.
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How to Buy Health Insurance in California

California’s state-run health insurance marketplace, Covered California, makes applying for health insurance a breeze. It’s widely considered the best state-run health insurance marketplace in the country. 

How To Apply For Health Insurance in California

All you need to do is enter your personal or family information, and you’ll be able to browse the available plans at the premium you’ll have to pay. In addition, covered California is so user-friendly that live help is available during business hours. Enter your phone number, and you’ll receive a call back from a licensed insurance agent within fifteen minutes!

Health Insurance Carriers In California

California residents have access to 11 different insurance companies on the state-run marketplace: 

What Are The Cheapest Health Insurance Companies in California?

L.A. Care Health Plan, Anthem Insurance, and Blue Shield of California are typically the most popular choices for low-cost health insurance. 

How Has Obamacare Helped California’s Uninsured?

California is generally considered Obamacare’s most remarkable success story, with the widely praised state-run health exchange and a low uninsured rate. California’s expansion of the Affordable Care Act, which boosted premium subsidies and made them available to more homes, was considered such a success the Biden government is proposing to extend ACA through a program modeled on what California has done. (Source

California Health Insurance Costs Overview

There are four main metal tiers for health insurance in California: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost in California?

According to the KFF, the average benchmark premium in Illinois is $426 in the year 2021. 

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What is the Cheapest Health Insurance Plan in California?

The cheapest health insurance plan in California is Western Health Advantage Bronze 60 HMO. For a single, forty-year-old on a $50,000 a year salary, it would cost $248.30 a month, with a $6300 yearly deductible and $8200 out-of-pocket max. 

Cheapest California Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier 

Gold Plans

Kaiser Permanente Gold 80 HMO Coinsurance ranks as the most affordable Gold plan. The premium is $399.41 a month. The deductible is $0, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $8200.

Silver Plans

Blue California Silver 80 Trio HMP is the cheapest Silver plan, with a deductible of $321.90 a month. The deductible is $4000, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $8200.

Bronze Plans

Western Health Advantage Bronze 60 HMO  is the cheapest bronze plan. It costs $248.30 a month, with a $6300 yearly deductible and $8200 out-of-pocket max.

*NOTE: All prices are estimates for a 40-year-old with a $50,000 a year salary.

California Health Insurance Costs by Occupation

What Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for a Student in California?

Covered California also has student health insurance plans designed for full-time students between 17 and 29. Students can also opt to stay on their parent’s policies until they reach 26 or sign up for a school-sponsored plan. 

What Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for the Self-Employed In California?

Self-employed workers are eligible for Covered California plans and can apply online through the marketplace. How much they’ll spend on monthly premiums depends on net income for the year they’ll be covered. In this case, applicants will have to estimate how much they’ll earn. 

What Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for Small Business Owners in California?

Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) offers health insurance options for businesses with 1 to 100 employees. Tax credits earned will help offset the cost of health insurance. Meanwhile, even if your employees opt for different insurers, small business owners will receive one consolidated monthly bill. 

California Health Insurance Costs by Number of Participants

What Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for Families in California?

It depends, but typically a couple (one non-smoking forty-year-old male/one non-smoking 40-year-old female) with two dependent children and a household income of $100,000 would pay around $400-600 for a bronze health insurance plan monthly.

What Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for Individuals in California?

Across all tiers, the benchmark price for a California individual is roughly $426. 

What Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for a Child in California?

Regardless of your family size or income, your child may qualify for low-to-no-cost health insurance through the MediCal for Children program. 

Other Types of California Health Insurance Coverage

Catastrophic Health Insurance in California

In California, Catastrophic Health Insurance plans are called Minimum Coverage Plans, which are only available to those under 30. Essential services are covered, while all other services are full price at the negotiated in-network price with an $8550 out-of-pocket maximum. 

Short Term or Temporary Health Insurance in California

Short-term health insurance is unavailable in California.

Low-Income Health Insurance in California

Low-income health insurance is available through California’s Medi-Cal program. 

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