Health Insurance in California & Covered California Information
If you do not have health insurance, not only are you putting your health and finances at risk, you will also be required to pay a HUGE tax penalty unless you qualify for an exemption. Not sure how to pick the right insurance policy for you? We can help.
Just call our hotline 1-888-418-8798 and our licensed Obamacare insurance agent will be happy to discuss with you your best options for health insurance in California based on your specific needs and requirements.
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About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s online health care marketplace which works together with the Department of Health Care Services to provide Californians with options for coverage and care that suit their needs. You can check it out by visiting CoveredCA.com.
The new Obamacare mandate allows any American citizen or legal resident to apply for health insurance through the Exchange or Marketplace or through a private health insurance company.
CoveredCA.com is the website you need to go to in order to apply for coverage and compare various plans in California. The state’s Exchange is available to more than 5.3 million California residents, many of whom qualify for federal subsidies and government programs that can help cut down the cost of their insurance premiums.
The Exchange is 100% committed to giving all Californians the resources they need to choose from a wide array of health care coverage options so that you can choose a policy that suits you and your loved ones.
Obamacare in California
Just like the rest of the nation, the Affordable Care Act mandates most American citizens and permanent residents to have health coverage that meets at least the minimum requirements. You can choose from 4 metal levels:
- Platinum level – Your plan pays 90% of your covered health care costs (on average) and you pay the remaining 10%.
- Gold level – Your plan pays 80% of your covered health care costs (on average) and you pay the remaining 20%.
- Silver level – Your plan pays 70% of your covered health care costs (on average) and you pay the remaining 30%.
- Bronze level – Your plan pays 60% of your covered health care costs (on average) and you pay the remaining 40%.
Enhanced Silver Plans
Covered California also offers what is known as the Enhanced Silver plan which may be available to those with limited income who are qualified for lower out-of-pocket expenses. If qualified, the individual will get a Silver level plan and get the lower cost-sharing benefits of either a Platinum or Gold plan while only paying the cost of a Silver plan.
Those who are under 30 years old who cannot afford health coverage can get a minimum coverage plan, also known as “catastrophic plans” which have lower premiums but come with a high deductible.
In California, if you get a catastrophic plan, you get the following benefits without paying for co-payments or co-insurance:
- Urgent care visits
- 3 doctor visits
- Out patient substance abuse care or mental health care
- Preventive benefits
Buying Health Insurance in California
As a resident of California, you can purchase health insurance from Covered California and expect the same high-quality insurance policies as those offered on the private insurance market. With CoveredCA.com, you will not only get to pick from numerous plans, but you can also use tools that will help you compare all plans easily and quickly.
Because of Obamacare, the benefits you can expect from all insurance plans are designed to work for you, and not for the insurance providers. With tax credits and government subsidies, your health care costs could go down considerably. If you are a business with less than 25 full time employees, you may also qualify for tax credits.
Nearly everyone in the United States is required to have at least the “minimum essential coverage,” whether through an employer, a private insurance plan, or a government health program. Without coverage, you will be required to pay a tax penalty.
For 2017, the annual fee is the greater of:
- $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, with a maximum fee of $2,085 per family.
- 5% of the annual household income less the federal tax filing threshold.
You could avoid paying the tax penalty if you qualify for an exemption, as listed below:
- Individuals whose income falls below the minimum tax filing threshold.
- Individuals who have experienced financial or domestic hardships that prevent them from getting coverage (bankruptcy, death in the family, homelessness, etc.)
- Those without insurance for less than 3 consecutive months.
- Those who are incarcerated.
- Those who are not U.S. nationals or U.S. citizens.
- Members of a religious group that have been in existence since December 31, 1950 that oppose any insurance benefits.
- American Indian tribes.
- Members of a recognized health care sharing ministry.
Why Do You Need Health Insurance in California?
With advances in medical care and treatments, there is also an increase in health care costs. Health insurance plans will help you pay for your care and protect you and your loved ones financially in the event of a serious illness or injury.
Studies have also shown that those who have health coverage are more likely to get preventive care than those who do not. Cancer screenings, laboratory tests and routine doctor visits can be costly, and this is one of the major reasons why people without coverage opt to forego seeing their health care providers.
Health insurance is crucial because there is really no way to predict your future health. With the rising costs of care, you could end up having to pay thousands of dollars even for a single trip to the ER.
Do not wait until you or a member of your family becomes seriously ill before you decide to buy health insurance. When you have coverage, you get better health care. When you do not have coverage, not only are you putting your health in jeopardy, but you are also putting yourself in a very dangerous situation financially.