SACRAMENTO — Covered California announced on Friday that 155,470 people had enrolled in health care coverage since the exchange announced a special-enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pace of sign-ups during this time is more than 2 times higher than the level seen during the same period in 2019.

“Covered California continues to enroll thousands of people every week, and we want to make sure everyone knows that they can still get access to the health care they need during this ongoing crisis,” Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, said in a statement. “Whether you have lost your job-based health insurance, or you were uninsured when this crisis began, there is a path to coverage for you through Covered California or Medi-Cal.”

The enrollment data covers the period from March 20, when Covered California opened the health insurance exchange to any eligible uninsured individuals who needed health care coverage amid the COVID-19 emergency, to June 5. Anyone who is uninsured and meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements, which are similar to those in place during the annual open-enrollment period, can sign up for coverage through June 30.

Special-Enrollment Period

Every year Covered California provides eligible consumers the opportunity to sign up for health care coverage, outside of the traditional open-enrollment period, if they experience a qualifying life event. These can include events like losing your health care coverage, moving, getting married or having a baby.

Overall, since Covered California ended its open-enrollment period on Jan. 31, 223,050 people signed up for coverage through June 5, which is nearly two times as many as seen during the same time period as last year.

Click here to see special enrollment data by county.

“We’re releasing data today that underscores that fact that the economic impacts of the pandemic are touching every part of the state,” Lee said. “We’re seeing a growth in enrollment from Alameda to Yuba County, and while it’s a stark picture of human need, the fact that California has established a true safety net for people who need health insurance is helping many across the state.”

Signing Up for Health Care Coverage

Consumers can easily enroll through and find out whether they are eligible for financial help through Covered California or if they are eligible for no-cost or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal. People who sign up through Covered California will have their coverage begin on the first day of the following month. Those eligible for Medi-Cal can have coverage that is effective retroactively to the first day of the month from when they submitted their application.

In addition to enrolling online, consumers who need health care coverage can visit Covered California’s Find Help page to get assistance over the phone from one of Covered California’s thousands of Certified Insurance Agents. The “Help on Demand” feature allows consumers to get a call back from a certified agent or a trained enrollment counselor.

Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible for Covered California or Medi-Cal, and see which plans are available in their area, by using the Shop and Compare Tool and entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage.

Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can also:

  • Visit
  • Get free and confidential assistance over the phone, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller.
  • Have a certified enroller call them and help them for free.
  • Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.


Image Sources

  • Covered California: Shutterstock