California Health Insurance Exchange, Covered California, will open in October 2013. This as part of the ACA - Affordable Care Act - also known as "Obama Care". The act has been hit by controversy, but it is being implemented and you need to know what it means for you.

"Through Covered California, low-income individuals and families will be able to apply for free coverage in Medi-Cal and moderate income Californians will be able to apply for discounted health insurance with premium-subsidies. Higher income people will be able to purchase a California health plan at negotiated rates."

What Will Covered California Do for You?
Through Covered California, residents will be able to purchase high quality insurance, as well as being able to find financial assistance in order to pay for the insurance. As such, Covered California will act as an online marketplace, where people can come to compare the market and find the best packages out there for them.

"Covered California will be the largest state health insurance exchange, serving the largest number of uninsured residents (5.3 million people, 14% of the population). It is estimated that 2.3 million California residents will enroll in a health plan through Covered California by 2017."

This is hugely positive news, because it shows that that ACA will be doing exactly what it promised: to provide every American with affordable health insurance, stopping people from not being able to access health care due to their financial position in society. Of course, the Act being controversial means there are a lot of people opposing it as well, claiming that it will actually cost people more.

A Premium Increase
A recent study that was designed to discredit the Affordable Care Act has predicted that some 30% of premiums will actually rise, thereby causing further financial hardship for millions of people. Different pieces of different journals have been lifted by Kaiser Health News, claiming that the new California Health Insurance Exchange will bring nothing but grief.

"About 5 million Californians got a first glimpse at what they might pay next year under the federal healthcare law. For many, that coverage will come with a hefty price tag. Compared with what individual policies cost now, premiums are expected to rise an average of 30% for many middle-income residents who don't get their insurance through their employers."

However, it seems now that this is only true for those who choose not to work with Covered California and who simply stay where they are without looking into the new options that are available. The clue is in the name of the Act: "affordable care", meaning that prices should not go up for anybody so long as they know how to look.

Tax Credits
One of the many ways in which Covered California will be able to bring prices down for many, as well as allowing others to have insurance for the first time is through the introduction of tax credits. As explained in a report by The Marin Independent Journal

"The credits will be available to anyone purchasing insurance through California's new health care insurance exchange, Covered California, and whose annual income falls between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. That equates to between $11,490 and $45,960 a year for an individual, and between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four in 2013."

Naturally, the exact amount of tax credits will vary, depending mainly on income. Essentially, those people on the lowest incomes will receive the highest amount of tax credits, allowing those with the greatest need for help to actually access it.

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