Question: I currently have an employer insurance policy which I pay half of the premium over 500. I would like to shop the exchange for something I like better plus be able to take advantage of the subsidies. Can I apply for a plan under Covered California while my other policy is still in effect? I do not want to have a lapse in coverage.
Answer: Yes. You can enroll in a Covered California individual plan as early as October 1, 2013. However, your coverage won’t start until January 1, 2014. You can drop your employer-based coverage at that point if it is considered “unaffordable” - that is more than 9.5% of your income. If you are paying $500 per month for your share of individual coverage. Your annual income would have to be no more that $63,158 for your $500 contribution to be deemed unaffordable.