A significant drop in household income does not qualify you to apply to Covered California for the tax credit subsidy to lower your monthly health insurance premium. If you are already in Covered California, you can report a change of income and then select a different health plan.
Covered California has come under pointed criticism from the health insurance companies for their lack of verification of a consumer’s Qualifying Life Event (QLE) for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). That will change as of August 1, 2016, when Covered California will start a program to randomly sample consumers who have enrolled in health plan outside of Open Enrollment under a QLE. Selected consumers will have to provide verification that they actually do have a QLE that makes them eligible to enroll outside of Open Enrollment such moving into California or the loss of minimum essential coverage like Medi-Cal or employer group coverage.