Anyone curious about how to get health care coverage during the open enrollment window through Covered California can attend a meeting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Axis Health Center, 5925 W. Las Positas Blvd. in Pleasanton.

Covered California offers health insurance plans from private providers for U.S. citizens and documented immigrants. Applicants cannot be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions, and eligible applicants can receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of plans and services.

For individuals, an income of $74,940 or less qualifies for subsidies; for a family of four, an income of $154,500 or less is the eligibility level.

The federal government no longer requires people to have health plan insurance. But all California residents must have health insurance or Covered California coverage in 2020. Californians without Minimal Essential Coverage (MEC), or an approved exemption, will pay a state tax penalty. The penalty is the greater of $695 per adult ($347 per child), or 2.5% of the household income.

While Californians don’t have to have coverage if they are willing to pay the state penalty tax, but “why would anyone want to go without insurance?” asked Valerie Jonas, chief development officer for Axis.

Axis staff will be on hand to help with enrollments during the event.

For insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2020, consumers must enroll by Dec. 15, 2019. Coverage would begin Feb. 1, 2020 for anyone who enrolls by the cutoff date of Jan. 31, 2020. Those who miss the open enrollment window may not have another opportunity to enroll in 2020.

Covered California only offers plans provided by private health insurance firms. Anyone hoping to sign up for Covered California at the Dec. 7 event should bring proof of citizenship or immigration status, a document such as a tax return or bank statement that shows their income level, and a driver’s license or other valid identification.

The event will also enroll people who cannot afford insurance from private providers. Assistance will be provided for enrolling in Medi-Cal or other programs for low-income people. To qualify for Medi-Cal, individuals must earn less than $17,235 annually, or $35,536 for a family of four. Bring along the same documentation that is required for Covered California.

To view or enroll in a Covered California medical plan visit