Open enrollment for health insurance through Covered California started Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Based on income, the cost for insurance offered through Covered California can be partly offset with subsidies.

This year, in addition to the federal subsidy through the Affordable Care Act, a state subsidy has been added.

This raises the income cap, said Vicki Whaley, insurance agent based in Weaverville.

“A lot more people will qualify for some subsidy,” she said. Currently, Whaley said she has 414 people enrolled through Covered California.

Here are a few dates to remember:

► Open enrollment for new customers through Covered California starts Oct. 15. For coverage starting Jan. 1, complete plan selection by Dec. 15. For coverage starting Feb. 1, complete plan selection by Jan. 15.

► Special enrollment is open at any time for those who have a life qualifying event. There are many types of qualifying events; for example, loss of insurance coverage.

► Active renewal by consumers already getting insurance through Covered California is underway and runs through Dec. 15. Doing nothing will result in automatic renewal to their current plan if it’s available. If not, the nearest matching plan will be chosen automatically according to a hierarchy specified in state regulations.

Current consumers should have gotten a notification in the mail with information on the subsidy available.

“If you’re happy with your plan and not much is changing you don’t have to do anything and it will roll over,” Whaley said.

She added that it is important to update your income to avoid getting a higher subsidy than warranted and having to pay it out later at tax time.

Whaley is certified to assist customers with insurance through Covered California at no charge. She can be reached at 623-9500.

Customers can also enroll or renew online by going to www.coveredca.com/.

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