Today, The California Health Benefit Exchange, which was recently renamed Covered California, launched its new website. This website is designed to be consumer friendly and is being launched now so that people can become familiar with the website before actual enrollment begins. Pre-enrollment starts in October 2013 and health benefits become available in January 2014.
Covered California is the health care market place where people who are uninsured or those who are spending more than 9.5 percent of their household income on health care premiums for individual coverage, can purchase health care for themselves and their families. It is the only place where federal subsidies will be available to help pay premiums costs. California is the first state in the nation to create a health care marketplace as provided for in the national Affordable Care Act.
The new website can be found at www.CoveredCA.com and it will give you basic information about Covered California. It includes fact sheets, questions and answers and has a useful calculator. You can enter your information and the calculator can estimate how much you would pay and what the federal subsidies would be if you qualify. It will also estimate if you are eligible for Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal is a public health program that is available at low cost and no cost depending on your income. It is important to remember that these calculations are only estimates.
It is also important to note that if you have employer sponsored health care, you will not qualify for federal subsidies in Covered California, unless the employer provided individual coverage exceeds 9.5 percent of your household income. If it exceeds that amount, you may qualify for subsidies in Covered California.
We will continue to update you as information is available.
If you wish to comment or would like additional information, please contact the CSEA Governmental Relations Office at (916) 444-0598. Letters can be sent to 1127 11th Street, Suite 346, Sacramento, CA 95814.