California’s program is called Covered California (https://www.CoveredCA.com/). Enrollment began October 1 with health insurance being bought to begin January 1, 2014. For this year only, there is a 90-day grace period for enrollment. The last day to purchase insurance is March 31, 2014. Otherwise, there is a penalty.
The chart below applies to a single person.
|PLAN LEVEL||% of BENEFITS PROVIDED UNDER THE PLAN||CO-PAY||PREMIUM|
|40% up to $6,350||Lowest|
|30% up to $6,350|
|20% up to $6,350|
|10% up to $6,350||Highest|
While there are several plans available under each level, the network of doctors, hospitals, deductibles for prescriptions (including generic vs. brand names) may differ. Various medications may be covered differently.
Subsidies to pay for the premiums are offered up to many. For instance, a family of four making $94,000 has a credit on the premium. Now, you cannot be turned down for pre-existing conditions.
Helpers called “navigators” are being trained to help you compare plans. Insurance agents are being certified to help you through the program. This is the biggest medical insurance legislation since Medicare was created. People need to be patient as the kinks are worked out of the new system.
We suggest anyone who has an individual policy review what is available on the Exchange. If you have an employer group plan, it should be as good as or better than the Exchange plans. A good article for more detail was written by Tara Siegel Bernard, “A Guide to the New Exchanges for Health Insurance,” New York Times, September 27, 2013.
If you are a client of Financial Connections and would like to review your options, please give us a call. We can put you in touch with some people certified in the program.