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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Covered California


What's covered: All approved plans in the state must cover the same package of benefits, called essential health benefits. In California, the benefits include:

  1. Outpatient services, such as doctor visits or tests done outside a hospital
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospital stays
  4. Pregnancy and baby care
  5. Mental health and substance abuse services, including behavioral health treatment
  6. Prescription drugs, including  generic and certain brand-name drugs
  7. Rehab and habilitative services, those that help people recover from an accident or injury and those that help people with developmental issues
  8. Lab tests
  9. Preventive and wellness services, along with those that help people manage chronic conditions. This includes weight loss programs and weight loss surgery.
  10. Services for children,  including dental  and eye care

Some services not included: hearing aids, chiropractic care, and infertility treatment.

Financial Aid and Medicaid

You may be eligible for financial aid to help pay for insurance or for government sponsored insurance. Here’s what’s available:

Premium Subsidies (also known as Tax Credits): You may qualify for a subsidy -- money to help pay your health insurance premium each month. The subsidy may be sent directly to your health insurance company and is available only if you buy your insurance in the Marketplace.  In general, you'll be eligible if you're single and make about $45,960 or less a year, or if you have a family of four and make about $94,200 or less a year. Subsidies are based on your estimated household income for 2014.

You also may be eligible for cost-sharing subsidies that will reduce your costs when you get medical care. Cost sharing subsidies are available only if you buy a silver-level plan.

Medicaid Expansion: California is expanding Medi-Cal, its Medicaid program, so more people can get health insurance coverage. You may be eligible if your yearly gross income is below $15,856 for one person or $32,499 for a family of four. 

CHIP: The Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as the Healthy Families Program in California, provides coverage for children of some families who have a low income but are not eligible for Medicaid.

Find out if you qualify for any of these programs at Covered California.

Available Resources

Trained navigators and assisters can teach you about the Marketplace and guide you through enrollment. They are supposed to be fair and impartial and cannot take money from insurance companies. Trained insurance agents also can help you with your choices. Here are several ways you can get help with your insurance decisions:

  • Call Center: Call 800-300-1506 for information about your insurance options.
  • Web Site: Find information about California's Marketplace at Covered California. You can create an account, find information about different plans, and buy insurance. 
  • Other Resources:  Find an enrollment counselor or find an insurance agent.

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