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California Health Insurance

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When researching your health insurance options in the state of California, there are several things to keep in mind. If your employer does not offer benefits, are you healthy enough to obtain health insurance on the individual market? If so, Health Plan One can be of service to you in quoting plans appropriate for your needs and price range. Do you own your own business and employ between 2-50 employees? Health Plan One can also assist small business owners in obtaining small group coverage. Do you have any pre-existing conditions, disabilities, or are you below an income level which could qualify you for free or low-cost health care programs offered by the government? You may be eligible in California for Medicaid (Medi-Cal), Healthy Families, or the high risk pool (MRMIP). Eligibility requirements for each of these options are available on this page.

What Every Californian Should Know About Health Insurance

The type of health insurance familiar to most consumers is group coverage offered by an employer. With group health insurance through your employer, the policy is partially paid for by the company on behalf of their employees. The company will contribute a large percentage toward the monthly premium and you (the employee) will be responsible for paying the difference, about 16-27%. With group plans you have little choice in the specific benefits of the plan (these are determined by negotiations between the company and the insurance carrier) but you also cannot be denied coverage under the group plan no matter what prescriptions you may take or preexisting conditions you may have. By insuring a large group of employees together under one plan of the company's choosing, individual employees are not subject to medical underwriting; rather the entire group is underwritten as a whole to determine the premium level everyone will pay. Therefore, the amount you pay in premiums as well as the quality of the coverage you receive are dependent not on how healthy you are or what benefits you would like to have, but how healthy your group is as a whole and what benefits the company has chosen for you.

Unfortunately, companies frequently have a waiting period before new employees can qualify to receive health insurance benefits. If this is the case with your new job, consider getting a short-term policy from the point where your previous coverage ends to the time when your new company's insurance kicks in. Such options are available through Health Plan One. Simply visit our Short-Term information page for your free quotes. It is important not to have a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days. If you do, your new insurance carrier may refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions you may have such as asthma or acne for up to a year after your policy goes into effect. For this reason, having continuous health insurance coverage is particularly important.

What If I'm Between Jobs?

As previously mentioned, it is important not to have a break in coverage of more than 63 days. As a result, if you've recently lost your job look into extending the coverage you had with your employer through COBRA. With the COBRA program through the federal government, you can extend your plan for up to 18 months after losing your job. You will however have to pick up the entire premium cost which your employer had previously been paying. For this reason, it is frequently more economical for people who've lost their jobs to invest in an individual/family insurance policy through Health Plan One.

With individual coverage you choose the health insurance carrier and benefits you want with the help of Health Plan One. We will quote plans for you and your family from all the different carriers available in California so that you can choose from a wide price range and spectrum of options to tailor a plan that fits your needs. Even if you are not between jobs, a plan on the individual market through Health Plan One could still be the best option for your family. Many companies do not offer benefits to their employees, and often those companies that do offer benefits do so at an exorbitant cost for low quality plans. It is important to note that with individual coverage in California each person who applies is medically underwritten and may be approved, denied, or rated-up by the carrier depending on their health history in recent months.

If you're healthy and are unhappy with the health insurance offered by your employer, are between jobs, or are not offered benefits by your company, enter your zip code into the Health Plan One quoting engine at the top of this page to view the most competitively priced plans in your area with benefits tailored to your needs. Quotes are absolutely free, and you're under no obligation to buy. Our licensed insurance specialists are also available via LiveChat (see the button to the right) or toll-free at (877) 567-5267 to answer any questions.

If you're not healthy, there are still many programs available to you. See below for details on the options which best fit your medical and financial situation.

Small Group Plans

If you own a small business you can apply for a small group plan. You must have 2 or more eligible employees who each work at least 30 hours per week. Small group plans are medically underwritten by all carriers in Texas. This means that though no one in the group can be denied coverage, the carrier can increase the rates based on the health history of employees enrolling.

Health Plan One can help you by quoting plans for small groups. Simply call our toll-free number at (877) 567-5267.

To view small business group plans in California, visit our California Small Business Group page


Medi-Cal is the name of California's Medicaid program which provides a public health insurance option to low-income individuals in the state. The program pays for health care services for groups like families with children, seniors, the disabled, foster care children, pregnant women, and low-income individuals with specific diseases like TB, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS. To learn more about Medi-Cal and to see whether you qualify based on income limits or any of the other above factors, click here:

Click here for information on California Medicare Advantage Plans.

Access for Infants & Mothers (AIM)

This program provides low-cost basic health coverage to uninsured, middle income pregnant women. The total cost of the program for each participant is 1.5% of the individual's adjusted annual household income. The state and the federal government supplement participant contributions to cover the full cost of the program. To be eligible, you must be:

  • Pregnant, but not more than 30 weeks pregnant as of the application date
  • A California resident
  • Not a recipient of free Medi-Cal or Medicare part A of B benefits
  • Uninsured or covered by private insurance with a separate maternity deductible or co-payment of more than $500
  • Monthly household income within the AIM income guidelines

Coverage under AIM will continue until 2 months after you give birth. Babies born to women enrolled in AIM are eligible for enrollment in the Healthy Families program described below. For more details on AIM, visit There is currently no wait list for AIM.

Healthy Families

The Healthy Families program provides low-cost insurance to uninsured children who do not qualify for free Medi-Cal. Benefits include health, dental and vision coverage including specialist visits. Healthy Families will cover children:

  • Up to their 19th birthday
  • Who do not have health insurance through an employer based plan in the last 3 months
  • Living in California
  • Ineligible for or not enrolled in Medi-Cal
  • Who meet citizenship or immigration restrictions
  • In families with incomes within the program income guidelines
  • Born to mothers enrolled in the AIM program (discussed above)

For full benefit summaries and other important information about this program, click here:

California Kids

This program is similar to the Healthy Families program run by the state but it is a non-profit organization supported by contributions from businesses, foundations, and individuals. Benefits of the program for children ages 2-18 include physician services, health maintenance and wellness services, outpatient services, emergency care, ambulance services, prescription drugs, vision and dental. For more information including eligibility requirements see the program's website at

Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP)

MRMIP is a program administered by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board which provides basic health coverage for Californians with pre-existing conditions which have rendered them medically uninsurable on the individual insurance market. Residents who qualify participate in the cost of coverage by paying premiums which are supplemented by the state to cover the cost of care for the program. In order to be eligible, one must be:

  • Be a California resident
  • Not be eligible for both part A and part B of Medicare, unless eligible solely because of end-stage renal disease
  • Not be eligible to purchase any health insurance for continuation of benefits under COBRA of CalCOBRA
  • Unable to secure adequate coverage

Due to funding limitations, MRMIP does have a waiting list. For more information please visit their website at

For more information on health insurance plans in specific California cities: Anaheim, Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Concord, Costa Mesa, Downey, El Monte, Elk Grove, Fairfield, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Glendale, Huntingtion Beach,Inglewood, Irvine, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Modesto, Moreno Valley, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Buenaventura, Santa Ana, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Thousand Oaks, West Covina, Victorville, and Visalia.