New College Grads May Now Qualify for Covered California Health Plans

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Graduating from USC at 28, Saul Guevara will need to find new health insurance.

Congratulations — the moment you have worked so hard for is finally here! You are ready to walk across that stage, grab that diploma and begin the rest of your life.

But life can be complicated, and it’s imperative to have the important things — like your health — covered. Graduation can mean coming off a school-sponsored health plan, or turning 26, the limit for when you can remain on your parents’ health plan.

As an older college student, Saul Guevara had to think about some of those things even before he graduated from the University of Southern California earlier this month in Los Angeles with a master’s degree in Communication Management. Now 28, Guevara has been a Covered California consumer for the past two years while finishing work toward his degree.

“I chose to become a Covered California consumer because I learned that I qualified for federal subsidies to pay for my monthly health care payment,” Guevara said. “I’m paying $109 a month now instead of $316. Covered California has allowed me to get my medical needs met with the same primary care physician at a fraction of the cost.”

Guevara will begin working for the federal government this summer and plans to keep his Covered California coverage until he gets a health plan through his employer. Working part-time is a reality for many college graduates, as is getting married and starting your own business.

Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee encouraged the new graduates to look after their health needs. “If you are leaving your coverage behind when you graduate, then you may be eligible to enroll during Covered California’s ongoing special-enrollment period. Taking care of your health gives you the freedom to pursue your dreams.”

There are currently more than 336,000 Californians between the ages of 18 and 34 enrolled in a plan through Covered California, and they are receiving quality, name-brand insurance coverage.

The following circumstances are among the more common reasons people become eligible for Covered California special enrollment:

• Losing health coverage because you have lost or changed jobs.

• Turning 26 years old.

• Getting married or entering a domestic partnership.

• Having a baby or adopting a child.

• Moving and gaining access to new Covered California health insurance plans that were not available where you previously lived.

• Becoming a citizen, a U.S. national or a lawfully present individual.

If you qualify under any of these conditions, you are eligible to get health insurance coverage and join your fellow Californians in having one less thing to worry about. Make sure you take advantage of the financial help available to you and your family. For more information on special-enrollment rules, visit http://www.CoveredCA.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/special-enrollment. Those who qualify for Medi-Cal may enroll through Covered California year-round.

Eligible consumers who are interested in signing up should go to www.CoveredCA.com where they can get help to enroll. They can explore their options and find out if they qualify for financial help by using the Shop and Compare Tool. They can also get free and confidential enrollment assistance by visiting www.coveredca.com/find-help/ and searching among 800 storefronts statewide, or more than 17,000 certified enrollers who can assist consumers in understanding their choices and enrolling, including individuals who can assist in other languages. In addition, consumers can reach the Covered California service center by calling (800) 300-1506.

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