California's health exchange, which is a market place for
health insurance, has a new name – Covered California. This exchange
will allow individuals and small business to join together as long large pool
to get choices of health insurance.
Covered California makes its debut this October, offering
health insurance plans that conform to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also
known as Obamacare. Covered California's primary purpose will be to
insure the millions of people in California who are currently uninsured due to
preexisting health conditions or who can't afford health insurance.
Here are some commonly asked questions about Health Reform
and our State Exchange:
Who benefits from "Covered California"
People who cannot afford health insurance. If your
previous year's modified adjusted grow income is within 400% of the federal
poverty level, and you are an American citizen, you might qualify for an
advanced tax credit, which would reduce the amount that you would pay for
Do I have to buy my health insurance through Covered
No, you can choose to go through Covered California, go direct
to your health insurer, or go to your favorite licensed Insurance Broker.
No matter which avenue you choose, you will pay the same premium, unless
you qualify for a subsidy due to low income. You must go through Covered
California to get a subsidy.
Will my current health plan change?
Yes, existing plans will change starting in January 2014.
In order to participate in a state or federal government health insurance
exchange, insurance companies will be required to offer plans that fit within
levels of coverage called the "metal" plans. While each plan
must carry the same scope of benefits, the value of the benefits will vary, and
the premiums will vary by insurance company.
Catastrophic plans will be offered to young adults under 30
and individuals who've been exempted from the individual mandate because
there's no available affordable coverage.
How long can I keep my current plan?
For most small business health plans, the change to the
"metal" plans will occur at the renewal periods throughout
2014. For individual/family plans, it depends on your existing insurer.
Some insurers are beginning advertise the fact that you can keep your
existing plan until December 2014.
For more information, visit the Health section of Lisa Davis' website.
Submitted by Lisa Davis, Insurance Solutions for Life as a guest post.