The base fare for a bus ride on Los Angeles Metro is $1.75. A ride from Oakland to San Francisco on BART, the San Francisco-Bay Area rapid transit system can cost upwards of $3.70 one way.

Not bad, right? But the best bang for your buck out there may be the deal that hundreds of thousands of Californians are getting for comprehensive health insurance coverage through Covered California. Thanks to new and expanded financial help from the American Rescue Plan, they are paying just $1 per month for quality coverage.

“For less than the price of a bus ride, a cup of coffee, or a soda, many Californians are able to get high-quality coverage from some of the best doctors and hospitals in the country,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “Do not miss out on this historic opportunity, you owe it to yourself to check it out and see what this new financial help can mean for you and your family.”

The landmark American Rescue Plan not only increased the amount of financial help that is now available for Californians, it also increased the number of Californians who are eligible for the lower monthly premiums, but consumers can only get this deal on health plans purchased through Covered California. 

In order to help more people get covered and stay covered, Covered California recently launched a special-enrollment period that runs through the end of 2021, so people can benefit from premiums that are more affordable than ever before. Right now, 680,000 Covered California enrollees are paying monthly health insurance premiums of just $1.

“Quality health care coverage through Covered California is more affordable than ever, and the sooner people sign up, the sooner they can start saving and be covered,” Lee said.

These major financial savings aren’t the only benefits consumers may be unaware of with Covered California health plans, which are provided by brand-name insurance carriers like Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Health Net and others. Here are five hidden health insurance gems offered through Covered California:

1 COVID-19 Care: The good news is that all health plans cover COVID-19 vaccinations and testing – at no charge. In addition, health insurance provides financial protection if you need to be hospitalized or require extensive treatment due to COVID-19.

2 Preventive Health Care: All Covered California health plans offer 10 essential benefits that range from maternity care and hospitalizations to preventive health care. This free preventive health care includes annual check-ups with your doctor, all immunizations, mammograms, and screenings for diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

3 Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder:Counseling and treatment are fully covered by all health plans. Given the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional help is more critical than ever.

4 Dental and Vision Coverage: Children’s preventive dental benefits are automatically included in the health plans Covered California offers, and these services are provided for free. Adults, for additional costs, can add dental and vision coverage once they’ve selected health plans.

5 Health Plans for Those With Lower Incomes:It’s important to note that Californians with lower incomes can enroll in no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal health plans, and these plans also offer the same 10 essential benefits that Covered California does. Medi-Cal enrollment is year-round.

You can use services offered by your health insurance plan on the first of the month after you sign up through Covered California, even before your membership ID card has arrived, as long as you make your first payment.

Those interested in learning more about their health coverage options for Covered California and Medi-Cal plans can also:

• Visit

• Find local help with certified enrollers who provide free and confidential assistance over the phone, virtually or in person, in a variety of languages.

• Have a certified enroller call them for free help with our “help on demand” feature.

• Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.