Getting Covered

Asian family; father driving with kids

You may have heard that starting in 2014, most people will be required to have health insurance as part of the federal health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care ActPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActEnacted in March 2010, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), occasionally referred to as “Obamacare,” provides the framework, policies, regulations and guidelines for implementation of comprehensive health care reform by the states. The Affordable Care Act expands access to quality affordable insurance and health care..The new law, sometimes referred to as "Obamacare," recognizes that most people who don't have insurance would like to be covered but that their job doesn't offer it, they can't afford it or they've been turned down because of a pre-existing conditionPre-existing Medical ConditionAny illness or condition a patient has prior to obtaining insurance.. The Affordable Care Act provides sliding-scale financial help so almost all Americans can get quality health coverage at a fair price. One of the most important ways that consumers and small businesses will purchase health insurance is through state-operated marketplaces, like Covered CaliforniaCovered CaliforniaCovered California™ is the state marketplace established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that connects Californians to accessible, quality health coverage.. You can read more about how Covered California™ is helping connect millions of consumers and small businesses to health coverage, including Medi-Cal, here.

The Affordable Care Act is changing insurance plan requirements. All health plans now must cover the essential health benefitsEssential Health BenefitsHealth care service categories that must be covered by all plans, starting in 2014. These service categories include ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services; behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitation and habilitation services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including dental and vision care. Insurance policies must cover these benefits in order to be certified and offered in the marketplace, and all Medicaid state plans (Medi-Cal in California) must cover these services by 2014. that people expect, such as hospital care, physician services, medication, emergency, preventive care and rehabilitative care. No one can be refused the opportunity to buy health coverage based on a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes or asthma. And your insurance carrier cannot drop your coverage if you become sick.

For Individuals and Families

Covered California will help individuals compare and choose a health plan that works best for their health needs and their budget. To make sure all your questions are answered, Covered California is providing information and assistance so you can wisely choose your new health insurance. Read more here.

We all know that health insurance can bring peace of mind and is a smart investment but many of us are concerned about the cost. Financial assistance is available to help lower costs for people who qualify based on income. The amount of any financial assistance will be determined on a sliding scale, which means the lower your income, the more help you may receive. To get an estimate of how much insurance will cost you and learn if you qualify for assistance or Medi-Cal, visit our Shop and Compare Tool.

For Small Businesses

Small-business owners know that providing health insurance to employees can give them a competitive advantage. They also know it can be expensive and difficult to manage all the associated administrative tasks. Covered California has created a marketplace specially designed for small businesses to compare and purchase health coverage for their employees. Read more here.