The state of California currently has a state-run health exchange, where you can get quotes direct. As a basis for comparison, we encourage you to get quotes directly from other insurance companies. You should have health insurance quotes from current providers, as a base for comparison. This ensures that you have a better range of plans, information and overall access to affordable healthcare benefits.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been implemented in stages since it was signed into law in 2010, and on October 1, 2013, the health insurance exchange portion of the program came online in California and in many other states. Covered California is the name of the exchange that will serve the residents of California for the 2016 Open Enrollment Period, which starts on November 15, 2015, and ends on January 31, 2016.
Widely known as Obamacare, the ACA requires Americans to have at least a minimum level of health insurance. Those who refuse to participate in the ACA will have to pay a penalty; however, exemptions will be extended to the many federally recognized American Indian tribes that exist in California, and also for a number of personal reasons.
The health exchange marketplace that comprises Covered California will give residents the opportunity to shop for insurance plans that are federally regulated. Assistance will also be available from the federal government, in the form of tax credits and premium subsidies, to help in the purchase of these plans. Subsidies will extend to household incomes that are 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and tax credits are available to people who enroll in a silver-level plan and who make less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level. Additional assistance in the form of tax credits will also extend to businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees. Plans available from Covered California will incorporate requirements of the federal law, which include numerous rights and protections for the customers.
A major part of the ACA is an expansion of the federal healthcare program Medicaid, which, in California, is known as Medi-Cal. Residents of California with incomes that are equivalent to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which is around $16,243 for an individual and slightly above $33,465 for a family of four, will be eligible for Medi-Cal. The actual eligibility requirement under the expanded requirements for Medicaid is technically 133 percent of the federal poverty level; however, due to the way that the income is calculated, it actually permits people who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level to participate.
Open enrollment in Covered California will continue through January 31, 2016, and plans obtained before December 15 of this year will become effective on January 1, 2016. Residents with questions should call (800) 300-1506 or visit the Covered California website at CoveredCA.com.
You can use the links below to get quotes direct from insurance providers.