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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Is Covered California for Non-Subsidized Individuals?

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Question: Can high income earner buy california health benefit exchange?

Answer: Yes. You can buy your health insurance plan through Covered California even if you do not qualify for subsidized premiums due to your higher income. (Of those Californians currently insured by individual health insurance plans, almost 50% or about half a million individuals will not qualify for subsidies.) The exchange hopes to sign you up and offers a compelling reason to do so: a marketplace to compare plans from all the participating insurance companies on an apples to apples basis. On the other hand, your current carrier will make it incredibly easy to essentially roll-over your current coverage into an exchange-approved plan. So if you are like many people who don’t particularly want to spend any time at all shopping for health insurance, your current health plan issuer will offer the path of least resistance.

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I strongly encourage those who want to purchase insurance on the exchange to shop for it themselves. If they simply let their current insurance company “roll over” their plan, there will be a conflict of interest and the business will most likely stay with the current insurance company even though there are better/cheaper plans out there. People need to take the initiative to shop for a good plan so that we can collectively make the exchanges as competitive as possible. The more competitive the exchanges become, the lower prices will be. I high suggest utilizing a qualified insurance broker to help find the best plan. Individuals like me, who are licensed insurance brokers, will charge nothing for our services. We will select a plan for you with no incentive to choose one insurance company over another.

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