Your Guide to California Health Insurance


On March 23, 2010, something monumental happened. On this day, President Obama signed his Affordable Care Act, also dubbed “Obamacare” into effect. This became the largest overhaul to the United States Healthcare system since 1965. The new law drastically changed the healthcare system in the country.

California is one of the states who adopted the Affordable Care Act by starting the Covered California healthcare system. This change had residents scrambling to obtain California Health Insurance to avoid tax fees. Because this process was new, many were confused about what Covered California actually was, what coverage options were available, and how to obtain coverage.

We at California Quotes have created this guide to help you fully understand California’s Health Insurance program and make the process of obtaining insurance more simple.


The Law

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone over the age of 21 without health insurance to obtain health insurance, or pay a penalty come tax season. If you are under the age of 26, you can still be covered under your parents’ insurance policy. After 26 you are required to sign up for Covered California Health Insurance if your place of employment does not offer coverage.

The Fees

When the act was first signed, fees were relatively small since most people had not had the time to get insured. As of 2016, if you’re not insured, the penalty is 2.5% of your income or $695 per person, whichever is greater.


Certain California residents are exempt from the tax penalty for not having insurance. They include:

  • Those below the minimum threshold for paying taxes
  • Residents experience financial hardship
  • Consumers who can’t afford coverage
  • Incarcerated Residents
  • Undocumented Immigrants
  • Religious sects and divisions recognized by the IRS who have been opposed to receiving health benefits since 1956
  • American Indian Tribes


California Health Insurance Policies usually come with these coverage options:

  • Ambulatory services
  • Emergency or urgent care
  • Hospitalization services
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance abuse services, including counseling
  • Prescription medications
  • Rehabilitative services and equipment
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness care, including chronic-condition management
  • Pediatric services (which must include dental and vision care for children)

Types of Plans

  • Bronze level: On average, your plan pays 60% of covered health-care costs; you pay the remaining 40%.
  • Silver level: On average, your plan pays 70% of covered health-care costs; you pay the remaining 30%.
  • Gold level: On average, your plan pays 80% of covered health-care costs; you pay the remaining 20%.
  • Platinum level: On average, your plan pays 90% of covered health-care costs; you pay the remaining 10%.

Where to Apply

There are many channels available for you to apply for health insurance and find the best rates. You can visit the Obamacare website or the Covered California website where you can find rates and applications. You can also visit the sites of the top health insurance providers.

Going through this process can be time consuming and stressful. That’s why California Quotes is here to help. If you don’t feel like searching through tons of information, we can obtain quotes from multiple Health Insurance carriers instantly so you can compare rates and find the best insurance option for you. If you need help finding the best insurance, request a rapid California Health Insurance quote from us now!