Stay covered when you need it most

Losing your job doesn’t have to mean losing your coverage

Blue Shield of California is here for you when life changes affect your coverage, including job loss. We have plans to help you keep your coverage no matter where life takes you.

Keeping your health coverage may also help you avoid the California tax penalty.1 This penalty applies if you do not enroll in and maintain minimum essential health coverage for yourself and your dependents for each month.

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Explore Individual and Family Plans

If you lost coverage due to a change in your employment, you can buy an Individual and Family Plan directly from Blue Shield. You may even qualify for federal financial help to lower your monthly premiums.2

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See if you qualify for Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal is government-sponsored free or low-cost health coverage for adults and children who meet income and other requirements.3

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Learn about COBRA/Cal-COBRA

If you lost your Blue Shield coverage through your employer, you may be eligible for COBRA or Cal-COBRA benefits. Explore our COBRA and Cal-COBRA healthcare options to help you stay covered.

When can I apply for Individual and Family Plan coverage?

You can apply for coverage during the annual open enrollment – typically November 1 through January 31. You can also apply outside of this timeframe if you have recently experienced a qualifying event.

Qualifying events that allow you to apply for coverage include: 

  • Losing employer-based coverage or experiencing a loss of income
  • COBRA or Cal-COBRA coverage expired
  • Employer is no longer offering health coverage or changes their coverage
  • Separation, divorce, or death of the person though whom you received health coverage as a dependent
  • Moving into or out of a Service Area
  • Marriage
  • New child through birth or adoption
  • Loss of Medi-Cal eligibility
  • Medical child support orders issued by state or federal court
  • End of military service
  • Other exceptional circumstances (validated by Covered California)

If you have experienced one of these qualifying life events, view your plan options and see if you might qualify for financial help.2

Turning 65? Get coverage through Medicare.

Blue Shield offers Medicare plans for people 65 or older or who meet certain eligibility requirements. These include plans that combine medical and prescription drug coverage or plans that let you choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare.

More resources

Medi-Cal website

Learn about Medi-Cal on the California Department of Health Care Services site.

Medicare website

Learn about Medicare on the official federal Medicare site.

Blue Shield of California News Center

Keep up on the latest news and updates from Blue Shield.

California Department of Managed Care (Cal-COBRA)

Explore information about the California law that helps you keep your health plan if you lost employer-sponsored coverage.

Department of Labor (COBRA)

Explore information about the federal law that helps you keep your health plan if you lost employer-sponsored coverage.

1 This summary is provided for informational purposes only. Blue Shield is not a financial institution and does not provide legal, financial, or tax advice.

2 To receive financial help, you must apply for a Blue Shield plan through Covered California. Only Covered California can determine your eligibility and actual subsidy amount based on the information you enter in your application.

3 Medi-Cal eligibility is determined by your local Social Services Office.

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© California Physicians' Service DBA Blue Shield of California 1999-2024. All rights reserved. California Physicians’ Service DBA Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association. Health insurance products are offered by Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company. Health plans are offered by Blue Shield of California.

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