ISG Benefits and Insurance Services Blog
If you’re shopping for health insurance in Bakersfield, CA, then you have come to the right place. Ill give you a brief description and overview of the information you need to consider and let you know where or how to get signed up. This information is pertinent to 2020 plan year and is subject to change (ie. COVID-19).
DISCLAIMER- READ CAREFULLY BEFORE MOVING ON: I am a licensed independent health insurance agent and I provide all of this information, handle the enrollment process from start to finish, free of charge, for all of my clients. If you’d prefer to have someone take care of this for you and feel a like a huge burden has been lifted from you, then please text or call my office at 661-432-1474. Initial phone consultations usually take 15 minutes. If you think you can do it on your own then ask yourself, “can I get this done in less than 15 minutes?” Because thats how long it will take me. So, I’m telling you, just stop reading now and call me. You will feel so much better that you did. My services are free. It’s a no brainer:) Please note that ill be interjecting my thoughts, sense of humor, and wisdom into this article. It’s my attempt to lighten the article and make it a bit more fun to read. I hope you find it at least marginally helpful.
I need help enrolling in Covered California!
By far, the most calls I get are from consumers who are having trouble with CoveredCa and the application process. Deciding on a health insurance plan can be stressful enough, but the enrollment process is what really stumps people. I can still remember my first CoveredCA application that I completed 8 years ago, I was helping a family of 4.... and it took me 2 hours to complete the application! Now, roughly 1000 applications later, it takes me about 7-9 minutes to complete an application online. This is why I handle the process for my clients because:
For those brave enough to enroll on their own, here are some amazing tips that will save you time in completing the application AND make sure you complete it correctly.
1. Skip “optional” questions.
The CoveredCA online application is loaded with “optional” questions. For a family of 4, the application is around 200 separate webpages!!!! So skipping the optional questions will save you a ton of time. Also, the optional questions make no difference toward your coverage and monthly cost.
2. List everyone in your household, even if they dont need coverage.
When dealing with CoveredCA family size = how many people will be on your tax return when you file next spring. It doesn’t matter if you have been living with the same person for 15 years and have 4 kids together, if you dont file your taxes together, you are NOT in the same household according to CoveredCA.
Likewise, if you are married but only applying for yourself, you still need to list your spouse and children, EVEN IF they dont need coverage. You can specify who needs coverage later in the app.
3. You’re never pregnant.
None of my applicants have EVER been pregnant, and they NEVER will be. Catch my drift? It benefits my clients to withhold this information from CoveredCA until they actually add a new family member. Informing CoveredCA that a family member is pregnant changes your family size calculation which further complicates tax planning. Even worse, it may severely limit the mother on which medical providers she can see during her pregnancy, a disruption that pregnant woman DO NOT want to experience.
4. The tax section (VITALLY IMPORTANT)
CoveredCa will ask “who is the primary tax filer?” The correct answer is whoever’s name appears at the top of the tax return NOT necessarily the breadwinner of the family. SELECTING THE WRONG PERSON WILL RESULT IN YOUR COVERAGE BEING CANCELLED. Midway through the year, CoveredCa verifies all information on your application and cross-references the IRS database, if the primary tax filer is listed incorrectly, the application is closed and coverage is cancelled. Also, married couples MUST FILE MARRIED FILING JOINTLY.
5. Income Section - I will teach you how to skip 99% of this section.
If you follow the CoveredCA application step-by-step, completing the “Income Information” is basically like completing an entire tax return. It’s not necessary to do this. And furthermore, completing every detail of the income section can make it incredibly difficult to update later on throughout the year.
Here is what to do:
I could go on and on about why, I set up applications like this, all the issues it avoids later on down the road, but for now just take it from me (Ive done over 1000 of these applications), this is the BEST WAY to do it.
Dont get me wrong, CoveredCA helps thousands of people across the state afford medical coverage, but the application process is literally a minefield. Answer wrong and your coverage will be cancelled. Answer correctly and you could owe thousands in taxes. The errors that occur during the application process dont come to fruition until many months down the road, often its too late to fix them. If you know someone who is enrolled through CoveredCa, or if you are thinking of enrolling through CoveredCA, I would highly recommend that you call my office before doing so.
Toll Free: 1-800-220-3304