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The annual open enrollment period is coming up November 1st, and if you are renewing, then your time to renew is here already!

This time of year is the perfect time to review your health plan, your family’s needs and usage in the past year, to see if your current health plan meets your needs or if you need to make changes. – Or if your plan made changes that will affect you next year!

During this time, you can make these changes for 2021, such as:

  • Start fresh on a plan you have control over
  • Upgrade to a new plan
  • Downgrade to a new plan
  • Change your provider
  • Change the type of coverage (PPO or HMO)
  • Move from Private Health Insurance to Covered California or vice versa

“I am worried about health coverage for my children” – When it comes to children, Medi-Cal is the default option under Covered CA. Even with Medi-Cal, there are different providers servicing Medi-Cal in every county. For example, in San Joaquin County the choices are HealthNet and Health Plan of San Joaquin. During open enrollment, you can also change the provider of Medi-Cal benefits. We can assist with all the above by calling us at 209-207-0577 or by visiting

“Is Medi-Cal the only option for my kids?” – Not everyone is pleased with the services offered by Medi-Cal, and therefore have opted to get a plan directly from the health insurance companies (Kaiser, Blueshield and Anthem in California). This might be a more costly route, but it ensures parents get the provider they want. Several of our clients have opted to go this route after we helped them narrow down the options available to them.

“Is Obama Care better than a private plan?” – So what are the pros of Covered California (Covered CA) versus direct plans from the carriers? The biggest advantage for Covered CA is the federal and state subsidy offered to offset a portion of the monthly premiums. This subsidy can allow clients to choose higher levels of coverage offering greater protection and lower out of pocket health care expenses. In other words, the plans are cheaper than purchasing direct from Kaiser, Blue Shield, Anthem, etc. A second advantage of Covered CA is the broader range of Special Enrollment period qualifications. For example, the newest qualification is for those going through divorce that may have lost health coverage from their former spouse.

“What should I watch out for with Covered California?” – What are the disadvantages of Covered CA vs. direct from the carrier? Provision of pay stubs and income verification deters some people. Also, if your income is reported lower than actual, you can face a tax penalty and have to pay back a portion of the subsidies received at tax time. And the last one is for the children, who are placed on Medi-Cal by default. Kids cannot participate in the parents’ health plan (note: there are some extreme exceptions – contact us to see if you qualify).

To know whether Covered CA or a direct plan in Kaiser, Anthem or Blueshield is right for you, speak with one of our licensed health professionals to explore your situation and make the best recommendation for your situation.

post written by: Brian Schilling, Insurance Broker, proudly licensed to transact insurance in California, Oregon, Nevada and Texas –

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