The Covered California system can be a little confusing and not necessarily intuitive when it comes to changing health plans. If you want to change your plan, don’t terminate it. If you terminate or disenroll from your health plan, it causes all sorts of headaches.
With the increased subsidies from the American Rescue Plan, individuals and families are changing to health plans with better benefits. People are moving from catastrophic Bronze plans to Silver plans that have set copayments for many routine medical services.
The logical assumption is that you need to disenroll or terminate your existing plan before you enroll in a new plan. While that is the case when you are purchasing some services that is not the situation with Covered California. When you disenroll from a Covered California plan – terminate your coverage – the system thinks you are leaving for good.
If you disenroll from your Covered California health plan and then try to enroll in a new plan, the system won’t give you the Advance Premium Tax Credit subsidy to lower the monthly premium. That is why it is crucial to use the change plan process in the Covered California system.
Special Covered California Change Plan Process
Covered California has a special process for changing plans that will automatically terminate your old plan. Navigate to your home page and scroll down to Manage Application.
Select Enrollment Dashboard
If you click on My Enrollments, it will bring up your current health plan enrollment.
This will give the particulars of your current health plan such as subsidy, carrier, etc. This page also has a Disenroll From Health Plan button. Don’t click it!
Shop For New Health Plan To Change Plans
From the Enrollment Dashboard click on Shop for Health Plans. The default is usually Shop for Dental Plan with a heavy blue line underneath it. Click the Health Plan side, a heavy blue line will then indicate the selection.
Then click Change Plans. Do not click on Disenroll.
A new window will appear that makes it seem that you are confirming the health plan you already have. Click on Back To Shopping.
A popup window will alert you about changing plans and how the premium could be higher. Select Remove Existing Plan and Go Shopping.
This will take you to the Shop and Compare section where you can navigate to the new health plan you want and add it to your shopping cart. Then follow the process to enroll in the new plan. Don’t forget to make the first month’s binder payment, preferably through the Pay Now button of the confirmation page.
Covered California will alert your existing health plan that you are dumping it in favor of a newer shinier model. Covered California handles the break-up with your old plan so you don’t have to text them “bye-bye.”