THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH EXCHANGE
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obama Care California brought a new solution of affordable California medical insurance to the golden state through the state-based exchange, Covered CA. Through the Covered California website, qualified individuals and families can sign up and receive subsidies through the form and up-front tax credit to help them pay for their medical coverage. This enables thousands of qualified Californians to obtain inexpensive, if not the cheapest health plan available from some of the best insurance companies in the state.
Purchasing California health insurance through the State Exchange is like going to an online shopping mall. State approved Obama Care California health plans include carriers such as Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross, Kaise Permanente and others. Benefit packages include Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of coverage that can be viewed in an apples-to-apples comparison. Premiums range from cheap to more expensive depending on the level of coverage desired.
WHAT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE?
You can find the following types of plans:
Individual and Family Healthcare Plans: Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, all health insurers are required to meet minimum essential requirements with their healthcare plans. This means they must provide coverage for things such as hospital stays, emergency care, preventative and wellness care, and prescription drugs. These plans are ACA compliant and offer high-quality, affordable coverage to everyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.
Medicare: Medicare is granted to qualifying individuals over the age of 65 who suffer from chronic illnesses or disabilities.
Medicaid: Medi-Cal is offered to individuals and families with low household incomes.
TYPE OF INDIVIDUAL
Health plans are classified under four major categories to make comparing them easier. The categories are divided according to the percentage of health care costs they pay, and they include the following:
In addition to the metal tiers, Covered California offers a minimum coverage plan for those who qualify. If you are under 30, you may be able to buy an additional health insurance plan option called minimum coverage plan. These plans usually have lower premiums and mostly protect you from worst-case scenarios. Those who have minimum coverage plans do not qualify to receive premium assistance. Minimum coverage plans through Covered California cover three doctor visits or urgent care visits, including outpatient mental health/substance use visits, with no out-of-pocket costs, and free preventive benefits. All other services will be full price but at the negotiated in-network price, until you spend $8,150, after which all in-network services are covered at 100 percent.