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California Health Insurance (CA)

California Health Insurance

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Medical insurance has always been a delicate topic. Shopping for a policy is difficult and requires a fair understanding of the laws in your state. However, when it comes to protecting your family against illnesses or injuries, you need to have an estimation of your budget and your family's health care needs. California provides various alternatives for health coverage shopping. offers free quotes in California for group or individual plans and information resources on affordable California Medical insurance plans. Whether you are looking for information on low-cost health plans in California or an online quote from major California insurance companies, you will find everything you need here, in one convenient location.

Search for plans and the costs associated with them using the search box above. We provide individual, family, Medicare supplemental, group and student health plan quotes for you to compare on all states and zip codes. Remember that having coverage leads to a healthier lifestyle as you are able to get regular doctor checkups and therefore a low cost premium.

California (CA)
Individual Health Insurance Regulations

Learn more about California Individual Health Insurance

In California, medical underwriting is allowed without restriction. Medical underwriting enables insurance companies to look back into the medical history of their prospective members. Insurance companies offering (individual or family) California plans may deny coverage based on medical history and other factors. The look-back period for pre-existing conditions is 12 months. California is one of the few states in the nation that is a "non-rider" medical insurance state. Due to California medical insurance regulations, an insurance company offering plans in California is not permitted to place an "exclusionary rider" on a new policy. Therefore, the acceptance guidelines of the insurance companies in this state tend to be stricter than in other states, with a higher percentage of declined applications. Rates for individuals in California are based only on geographical location, age, medical history and other such rating factors. The insurance companies can impose an exclusionary period of 12 months on the applicants for the treatment of pre-existing conditions. However, the state mandates coverage for certain medical services such as breast cancer screening, vaccinations, post-delivery hospital stays, etc.

California also offers a high-risk pool (MRMIP) for residents with pre-existing conditions who are unable to find medical insurance through a private insurance company, California provides a high risk insurance pool named Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP).

Search for plans and the costs associated with them using the search box above. We provide individual, family, Medicare supplemental, group and student health plan quotes for you to compare on all states and zip codes. Remember that having coverage leads to a healthier lifestyle as you are able to get regular doctor checkups and therefore a low cost premium.

If you are unemployed in the state of Alaska, visit this guide.

California (CA)

Small Group Health Insurance Regulations

The State of California defines a "Small Group" as any company with between 2 and 50 employees. Any employee working for a qualified small group operating within the state is guaranteed approval on an application for health insurance. The insurance company can adjust their published rates by no greater than 10%. Rates are based on age, zip code of residence and the composition of the family. Any qualified group that renews their existing health plan policy will follow the same criteria and rating guidelines. To qualify as a small group, a company must have at least 2 employees that work at least 6 months of the year and at least 20 hours per week. The owner(s) of the company can count as an employee if he draws wages from the company. For preexisting condition requirements, the insurance company may review in the 6 month medical history of the applicant and has the right to impose a 6 month exclusionary period for those medical conditions that did not have prior medical coverage. The health insurer may not cancel the group's health coverage just because one or more members gets very sick and generates high health care costs.

Cal-COBRA and Continuation Coverage

COBRA is available for up to 36 months under certain qualifying events and is a continuation of the same coverage you had under your group health plan. The qualifying event can be termination of job, reduction in hours, divorce, death, the employee enrolls in Medicare or he is no longer a dependant of the employee. The one exception to this is if the former employer was fired for gross misconduct. Upon the expiration of COBRA, you may enroll in a HIPAA individual health plan offered through private insurance companies offering individual health plans in California; or in MRMIP, the high risk pool of California, provided you have pre-existing medical conditions. Premiums are typically very high, but acceptance is guaranteed if you enroll within 60 days of the termination of your COBRA coverage.

Cal-COBRA applies to employers with 2-19 employees and provides these employees up to 36 months of coverage after the occurrence of a qualifying event. If your Federal COBRA lasted 18 months, you may be able to keep your health plan under Cal-COBRA for 18 more months, for a total of 36 months. If your Federal COBRA lasted 36 months, you cannot get more Cal-COBRA. For the first 18 months, you are responsible for paying 110% of the total premium your employer may have been paying.

* Please refer to our legal terms and conditions for disclaimers pertaining to the content on this page.

Additional California Resources

  • California Plan Options

    Provides a list and information about some of the plans that are available in California, as well as a summary about each insurance company offering that plan.more...

  • Major Risk Medical Insurance Program

    Provides coverage to California residents that are medically uninsurable due to pre-existing medical conditions and do not qualify for state assistance under the Medicaid program more...

  • California Healthy Families

    Provides health insurance coverage to children under the age of 19 that meet certain income and eligibility guidelines. This program is administered through various insurance carriers and community health plans throughout the state more...

  • California Medi-Cal

    Provides coverage to low-income families throughout the state that would otherwise be uninsured more...

  • Medicare Information

    Provides accurate and unbiased information about Medicare for residents of California more...

  • Good News For California Health Insurance

    Californians were happy to get some good news today, as the company Aetna withdrew its plan to raise insurance premiums by as much as 19% more...

CA Medical Insurance Statistics


Total Population: 36,163,342
With : 29,461,452 / 81.5%
Without :6,701,890 / 18.5%
*According to the Census Bureau's March 2007 and 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS: Annual Social and Economic Supplements).

Note: The percentage of uninsured people in California continues to grow and the percentages without it are amongst the highest in the nation.

California Department of Insurance
Phone: 800-927-4357
Enforces many of the insurance-related laws of the state. The department protects insurance consumers by regulating the industry's practices.

California Department of Corporations
Phone: 888-466-2219
Establishes national benchmarks for Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) regulation, policy, patient advocacy and consumer awareness.