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October 15, 2013 > Santa Clara County prepared for new clients due to Affordable Care Act

Santa Clara County prepared for new clients due to Affordable Care Act

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel AndersonÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ

Under the Affordable Care Act, all American citizens and legal residents must have health insurance by January 1, 2014.

¥Individuals without insurance whether employed or unemployed
¥Individuals who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions
¥Individuals who are not already on a government program
¥Individuals who are unable to obtain health insurance through their employer

?If individuals already have health insurance from an employer, they donÕt have to do anything. Many health care reform changes that affect plans are already in place. If there are additional changes, they should get those details at their next open enrollment.

?If someone is already self-insured, some plans are being updated to include protections health care reform requires. The health insurance plan should identify if there will be any changes that will affect their membersÕ coverage.

Self-insured individuals can also check out CaliforniaÕs health insurance marketplace to see if one of those plans better meets individual needs.

Go to to compare plans.

If someone is uninsured, they may qualify for financial help (subsidies) or a tax credit. If they are not insured because of a pre-existing condition or illness, they can no longer be denied coverage. Go to to learn more.

Please note:
Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for Affordable Care Act benefits; and

Currently incarcerated individuals do not qualify for Affordable Care Act benefits.

If a resident is in the Medi-Cal Program, coverage is the same, the individual just needs to renew every year as they do now.

The Social Services AgencyÕs Health Care Reform Call Center opened October 1. The call center is open Monday-Saturday, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., the same hours as the Covered California phone lines to enable individuals calling Covered CaliforniaÕs 800 number (800-300-1506) to be transferred to the CountyÕs call center and speak directly to a person, not an automated system. Social Services staff will also assist applicants who choose to apply online at, apply by mail or who come into agency offices. Additionally, interested community members can call direct at 408-758-3800, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to receive new information on health care programs and coverage options.

Covered California offers five levels of coverage Ð bronze, silver, gold, and platinum and minimum coverageÐ with a range of premium and co-pay costs. Some options are more affordable than others. Depending on a personÕs income and family size, they may qualify for financial help to pay. The County can help identify health care options or determine if they qualify for financial assistance.

Patients of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and clinics can call the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System Patient Access Department at 1-866-967-4677 to get more information about the plans offered by Covered California and to find out how to apply.

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