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July 2, 2013 > Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Submitted By City of Union City

California was the first state to create a health benefit exchange following the passage of the federal health care law. Covered California is charged with creating a new insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to health insurance.

With coverage starting in January 2014, Covered California will help individuals compare and choose a health plan that works best for their health needs and budget. On May 23, 2013, Covered California, California's state exchange, announced proposed premium rates for individual policies to be offered in the exchange for 2014 coverage.

The plan designs and rates must now be reviewed for approval by state regulators. There will be 13 insurance companies statewide offering coverage to individuals through the exchange. There are 19 rating areas, with at least three insurers offering coverage in each area. The premium rates vary widely based on age, rating area, metal level (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) and insurance company. For example, the proposed premium rates for a single 40-year-old range from $188 to $348 for a bronze plan and $285 to $687 for a platinum plan.

Regarding coverage, copayments range from $20 under a platinum plan to $60 under a bronze plan. Information on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is expected to be released by July 2013.

Financial help will be available from the federal government to help lower costs for people who qualify on a sliding scale. Small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of state government whose job is to make the new market work for California's consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and Legislature.

For more information on Covered California, please visit
The organizations selected to provide outreach to educate the public on the ACA within Alameda County are the following:

Asian Pacific American Legal Center
California NAACP
California School Health Centers Association
East Bay Agency for Children Alameda ("EBACA")

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