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Health Insurance Options for Students

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Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), students now have more health insurance options for getting the care they need.  Although you may be young, healthy and active, having health insurance is important. Every year, many college students are injured in accidents or hospitalized for severe illness.  Without health coverage, this could cost you thousands of dollars, land you in debt and put your long-term health at risk.

When you have health coverage, you are able to get medical and preventive care, such as check-ups, exams, sexual health care and mental health care.  Getting health insurance will also mean you can avoid the ACA penalty.  Most people are required by law to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.  The penalty for not having health insurance in 2016 & 2017 could cost you $695 on your next federal tax return.  Click here to learn more about paying the penalty.

Remember, your Orange Coast College student health fee does not count as qualifying health insurance.  Although you do not need health insurance in order to get care at the Student Health Center, the OCC health fee does not cover all of the benefits under the ACA, such as ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, and chronic disease management.  

Learn about your health insurance options below and get covered.  Having health coverage will provide you peace of mind and financial security so that you can focus on earning a college degree and getting ahead in life.

1. Parent's Plan until Age 26

Young adults can now stay on a parent's health insurance plan until age 26.  They are eligible to join and remain on a parent's plan even if they are financially independent from their parents, do not live with their parents, are married, or are eligible for insurance through their employer.  Students often prefer to stay on their parent's insurance plan because it may have more benefits or be a lower cost.

2. Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal is a public health insurance program funded by the State of California and federal government.  This program offers free or low-cost health coverage for foster youth (until age 26), children, pregnant women and families of low-income.  On January 1, 2014, California expanded Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income adults.  Students with limited income and resources may qualify for low-cost or no-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal.  Enrollment is available year-round. Click here to learn more about Medi-Cal.

3 Ways to Apply for Medi-Cal

  1. Online at CoveredCA.com.  A single application will let you know if you qualify.
  2. By phone at 1-800-281-9799 (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am - 5:00pm)
  3. With in person help:
    • Friends of Family Health Center (13152 Newport Ave. Suite B., Tustin, CA 97280).  By appointment only (call Steven Calderon at 714-263-8600 or send an e-mail to outreach@fofhealthcenter.org)
    • Orange County Social Services Agency.  Offices located in Anaheim, Aliso Viejo, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster. Click here for office hours and locations.

Renewing Medi-Cal

  • Medi-Cal must be renewed every year.  A renewal packet will be mailed.  Complete and return. For help, contact your local Social Services Agency office.  Click here for office hours and locations.   

3. Covered California

Covered California is the online marketplace where California residents can shop for and compare quality health insurance plans and choose the one that works best for their health needs and budget.  Based on income and family size, many students may qualify for financial assistance.  This means that the government will pay for a portion of the student's health insurance premiums directly to the insurance company every month.  Students will get help paying for their premiums immediately, instead of having to wait until they file taxes.

Open Enrollment

The open enrollment period to apply and sign up for a Covered California health insurance plan happens once a year.  After the open enrollment period ends, you are only permitted to enroll in a Covered California health plan if you have a qualifying life event, such as losing your health coverage, getting married, moving outside your plan's coverage area, having a baby and turning 26.  To check if you qualify for Special Enrollment, click here.

 OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR 2017 HEALTH COVERAGE IS HERE!

NOVEMBER 1, 2016 - JANUARY 31, 2017

 Enrollment deadlines:
• For coverage starting January 1, 2017, you must enroll or change plans by December 15, 2016.
• For coverage starting February 1, 2017, you must enroll or change plans by January 15, 2017.
• For coverage starting March 1, 2017, you must enroll or change plans by January 31, 2017.

4 Ways to Apply & Enroll in Covered California

  1. Online at CoveredCA.com.  Create an account to start your application or log in to renew, change or update your current health plan. 
  2. By phone at 1-800-300-1506 (Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am - 6:00pm).  A customer service representative will help you fill out an application, review your choices, and enroll in coverage.  Click here for help by phone in other languages.
  3. By mail. Fill out and mail in a paper application. You’ll get eligibility results in the mail within 2 weeks. Download the paper application here.
  4. With in-person help. Free, confidential help with trained navigators is available at nearby Covered California Enrollment Centers.
    • 3 locations, Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm.  No appointment necessary.  Click here for more info.
      • 2790 Harbor Blvd, Suite 101, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (less than 1 mile from campus)
      • 2127 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (across from Norms)
      • 18582 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 (across from Panda Express)

4. Coverage for OCC International Students  

All international students must purchase health insurance through the International Center and maintain their coverage throughout their studies at Orange Coast College.  For additional information, please contact the International Center at 714-432-5940 or via e-mail at intctr@cccd.edu.​