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Open Enrollment

At Dignity Health, we understand that human connection is the foundation for healing. We believe that everyone deserves expert medical care that is kind, compassionate, and heart centered. Ensure you have access to our doctors and hospitals by choosing a health plan which includes our network.

Open Enrollment gives you the opportunity to consider new health care options. You may choose a new health plan or choose a new doctor or both. Decisions about your health plan and your doctor are connected and important for your health. Dignity Health can help you during Open Enrollment so you have the information you need to make the choices best suited to your health care needs.

Step 1:  Be sure you know when Open Enrollment takes place.

Open Enrollment takes place at different times depending upon how you purchase your health plan:

  • CalPERS: September 10 – October 5, 2018
  • Medicare Advantage: October 15 – December 7, 2018
  • Individual Plans, purchased through Covered California or outside of Covered California: October 15, 2018 – January 15, 2019
  • Plans through Employers: Open Enrollment dates vary but usually takes place 60 to 90 days before the first date of coverage. For example, plans with coverage starting January 1 may have an Open Enrollment period during the month of October.

Step 2:  Review your health plan options. 

Even if you are happy with the plan you have, it’s a good idea to take a look at the other choices available. A different plan may be a better match for your health care needs and may even save you money. Spending a little time reviewing the benefits of the plans offered is a great investment toward having coverage that will meet your needs for the coming year. You will also want to check whether your current doctor is in the health plan’s network of providers, which includes doctors, hospitals and other types of facilities, like surgery centers. This information is available on the health plan’s website. If you currently see a Pacific Central Coast Health Centers doctor and want to be able to receive services at other Dignity Health facilities on the Central Coast, here is a list of the plans to consider:

CalPERS Employees

  • Anthem Select HMO
  • Anthem Traditional HMO
  • Blue Shield Access+ HMO
  • Health Net SmartCare HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue Alliance

CalPERS Retirees

  • United Healthcare

Medicare Advantage

  • AARP Medicare Complete Secure Horizons HMO
  • Blue Shield 65 Plus

Blue Shield 

  • Blue Shield Trio HMO 

Step 3:  Choose your doctor. 

If you are enrolling in an HMO plan, you will be asked to include your doctor’s name and provider number on your application. Pacific Central Coast Health Centers physicians are part of Physicians Choice IPA. You may also be asked to include the IPA information on your application. If you need to choose a new physician, we can help you find the physician that’s right for you.

By choosing Physicians Choice IPA during open enrollment, you’ll gain access to Dignity Health’s local network:

  • More than 350 highly trained and experienced local physicians
  • Nationally acclaimed health programs on the Central Coast
  • Award-winning facilities: French Hospital Medical Center, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, Pacific Central Coast Health Centers and Marian Regional Medical Center

If you have additional questions, we're here to help. Call Physicians Choice IPA at 888.560.8799.

Step 4: Enroll







Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dignity Health a health insurance company?
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 21 states. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.

What do health insurance brokers do?
A health insurance broker or agent is a person who can help you apply for help to pay for your health insurance and enroll in a health plan. They can make specific recommendations about which plan to enroll in based on your health care needs. They are licensed and regulated by states and typically get payments, or commissions, from health insurers and therefore, consumers do not pay for their services. Dignity Health offers a list of brokers here who provide enrollment assistance over the phone and in person.

What is Open Enrollment
Open Enrollment is a time of year when you can sign up for health insurance.

When is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment dates depend on the type of insurance:
CalPERS employees and retirees - September 10, 2018 - October 5, 2018 
Medicare Advantage - October 15, 2018 - December 7, 2018
Individual Market - October 15, 2018 - January 15, 2019 (for California). For most other states the Open Enrollment period has been shortened to November 1, 2018 - December 15, 2018.
Employees who have insurance through their employer often have an Open Enrollment period in the Fall for coverage starting January 1. However, Open Enrollment for employer plans can take place at any time during the year, usually 2-3 months before the health plan effective date.

How do I choose a health plan?
Whether you are shopping for a health plan for the first time or looking to renew your coverage for another year, it's a good idea to consider your options. Be sure the plan covers the services you may need, such Office Visits, Prescription Drugs, Lab Tests and ER visits. Also, consider the monthly cost with the costs for when you receive care. Usually plans with lower monthly costs will have high amounts when receiving care. This type of plan may be a good option if you don't receive medical services on a regular basis. 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. You can check with the health plan or the doctor. Be as specific as possible because health insurance companies have many networks. Including the plan name when you ask will help ensure you will receive the most accurate information.

Which type of health insurance is better - PPO or HMO?
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 the care you need for any specialists.  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 an out-of-network physician.  Whether you are considering an HMO or a PPO, you can check which doctors, medical groups, hospitals, etc are in the network before you enroll.