Hello - I had health insurance coverage as a domestic partner under my girlfriends employer plan up to Dec '17. She was laid off and we both lost coverage. Coincidentally we were evicted from our apartment (owners converted to short term rental) at the same time. I'm able to work remotely so we decided to travel and have been outside the US since Dec 30, 2017. We are returning to California in late June '18. Will we be penalized for not having coverage while outside the country? Any advice on how to comply with the US health insurance requirement? Covered California denied my recent application to enroll as not having a "qualifying life event" (saying I need to wait until open enrollment). Perhaps my girlfriend should apply with Covered California claiming her lost job as the "Event"? Or should I begin shopping premiums with private companies? This is all quite confusing. Any other ideas or suggestions are welcomed? Thank you!