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Open Enrollment

With several locations throughout Bakersfield and Kern County, it's easy to find health care that helps you be at your best. This Open Enrollment, choose a plan that includes Dignity Health doctors and hospitals.


Let's get started

With open enrollment coming once a year, you’ll want to make the most of your choices and understand how they’ll impact your family’s health coverage in the coming year.

  1. Select an insurance plan accepted by Dignity Health. 
  2. Find a Dignity Health Primary Care Doctor that meets your needs.
  3. Enroll in your chosen plan based on your employer’s instructions. 

If you have a doctor or group of doctors you have been seeing or would like to see, be sure they are in the health plan's network. Don’t forget to check with the insurance plan to make sure your doctor is in their network


How do you get health insurance?

We understand choosing a health plan can be complicated. Our goal is to help take the guesswork out of the process so you can feel confident the health plan you select will offer the greatest coverage at a rate that fits within your budget.

How you enroll in a health plan—and which options are available to you—depend on how you get your insurance. Some of the most common methods are included below. Select an option to learn more.


Our Bakersfield hospitals

Dignity Health has three hospitals in Bakersfield, each offering 24/7 emergency services. In addition, we are proud to offer a growing number of health care services at other facilies throughout Bakersfield and Kern County to meet the needs of our community, including the Millennium Surgery Center and Dignity Health Infusion Center at Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC).

At Dignity Health, we believe total wellness—mind, body, and spirit—extends far beyond the walls of our hospitals. We offer several free programs and classes through our Art and Spirituality Center, Community Wellness Program, and Center for Healthy Living that are designed to keep you at your best.

Memorial Hospital

Memorial Hospital

420 34th Street, Bakersfield, CA

At a glance:

  • 24/7 emergency care with Online Waiting Room
  • Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission
  • Pediatric acute and intensive care, and Kern County's only children's emergency department
  • Advanced cardiovascular and neurological care
  • Robotic and minimally invasive surgery
  • Joint replacement and spine surgery with robotically-assisted navigation
  • Family birth center with private birthing suites, and Baby-Friendly® and Gold Safe Sleep Champion designations
  • Grossman Burn Center offering inpatient and outpatient burn care
Exterior photo of Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield, CA

Mercy Hospital Downtown

2215 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA

At a glance:

  • 24/7 emergency care with Online Waiting Room
  • Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission
  • S.A. Camp Companies Robotic Surgical Center
  • Kern County's only inpatient cancer care unit
  • Center of Excellence designations in minimally invasive, robotic, hernia, and colorectal surgeries and minimally invasive gynecology
Exterior photo of Mercy Hospital Downtown in Bakersfield, CA

Mercy Hospital Southwest

400 Old River Road, Bakersfield, CA

At a glance:

  • 24/7 emergency care with Online Waiting Room
  • Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission
  • Robotic and minimally invasive surgery
  • Family birth center with private birthing suites and Baby Friendly® designation
  • Nationally accredited comprehensive weight loss center
  • Joint replacement and outpatient orthopedic care
  • Center of Excellence designations in minimally invasive, robotic, hernia, and colorectal surgeries and minimally invasive gynecology
Exterior photo of Mercy Hospital Southwest in Bakersfield, CA


Our Bakersfield and Tehachapi clinics

Dignity Health operates several clinics in Bakersfield and Tehachapi offering primary, family, and specialty care services. So, whether you are in need of a wellness checkup, are dealing with a sports injury, or are experiencing a condition that requires the expertise of our fellowship-trained women's health specialists, we have you and your family covered.

Dignity Health Medical Network (formerly GEMCare and Independence Medical Group) members also have access to several independent clinics throughout Bakersfield and Kern County. You can feel confident knowing you and your family are surrounded with care here at home.

Tips for navigating Open Enrollment

To make the most of your choices during open enrollment, it’s important to understand what your choices are and what effect these choices have on the health care you and your family will receive in the coming year. We can help.


Frequently asked questions

Open Enrollment is a time of year when you can sign up for health insurance. Additionally, you may qualify to enroll if you have a qualifying life event, like losing coverage through your employer.


Open Enrollment dates depend on the type of insurance. These are the dates to enroll for coverage in 2023:

  • CalPERS employees and retirees: September 18, 2023 - October 13, 2023
  • Medicare Advantage: October 15, 2023 - December 7, 2023
  • Individual Market: November 1, 2023 - January 31, 2024

You may check with the health plan(s) to determine if the hospital(s) or doctor(s) are in-network with the health plan. If you need a primary care physician (PCP) or are looking for a specialist, we can help.

One type of health insurance is not better than the other, but there are differences. With an HMO plan, you will choose a Primary Care Provider (PCP) who will coordinate any specialty care you may need. Services are all provided through physicians and facilities in the health plan's HMO network. With a PPO, you may also choose a PCP, but you will not need a referral to see another physician. It will usually cost less to see in-network physicians than out-of-network physicians. Whether you are considering an HMO or a PPO, you can determine which doctors, medical groups, hospitals, etc. are in the network before you enroll.

A primary care physician (PCP) helps you manage your health. Common services include regular physical exams, prescribing medications, treating minor illness and injuries, managing chronic conditions, and screening for common health problems.


Should you need specialized care, your primary care physician can expertly guide your next steps and connect you to the right specialist. There are five main types of primary care physicians: family medicine doctors for the whole family; internal medicine-pediatric doctors for preventing and treating diseases; pediatricians who specialize in children; internal medicine doctors who care for adults; and OB-GYNs for adult women.


Choosing and building a relationship with one of these doctors can help you live a healthy lifestyle based on your individual needs.

Dignity Health is not a health insurance company. Dignity Health is a provider network of more than 60,000 caregivers and staff who deliver excellent care to diverse communities in hospitals, physician offices, and other types of care centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.

It's a good idea to confirm your doctor and your hospital of choice are covered by your new insurance for the upcoming year by checking the insurance website or calling your insurance carrier directly. Do not assume your physician is covered without checking first. Doctors and hospitals may periodically change the insurance plans they accept.

Whether you purchased coverage during Open Enrollment in the last year or two, or you began coverage due to a qualifying event in between Open Enrollment periods, it's a good idea to assess your coverage each year. The Open Enrollment period, which generally begins in November and runs through January, is the only time you can make a change unless you have a qualifying event, such as getting married, moving, or having a child. The health plan options available in your area can change each Open Enrollment. By taking the time to shop around, you may find a carrier or plan that will cost less each month or less when you access services.

*Benefits among health plans and employers vary. Please refer to your health insurance information for details and descriptions of your benefits coverage.