Beginning October 1, legal residents of California will be able to pre-enroll in Expanded Medi- Cal or a Qualified Health Plan. Legal residents who do not have health insurance through their employer or another government program can purchase health insurance through Covered California.
Covered California is designed to help you and your family compare qualified health plans and choose the one that best meets your needs and budget. When you use Covered California, you can also find out if you’re eligible for Medi-Cal or a new tax credit that can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs. You can choose how you would like to shop for health insurance: online through the Covered California website, in person or by mail in designated Contra Costa County district offices, or by calling Covered California at (888) 975-1142.
Covered California will make it simple and more affordable for you to get health insurance that can't be canceled or denied because of a pre-existing medical condition or illness. Purchasing insurance through Covered California will have many advantages. For the first time ever, you will be able to make true comparisons of different health insurance plans. Covered California is also the only place where you can learn about and use federal financial assistance that can help lower your health care costs.
The Affordable Care Act also requires most people to have health insurance by January 2014 or face financial penalties. The penalty phases in over three years and becomes increasingly severe. In 2014, the penalty will be 1 percent of annual income or $95, whichever is greater. By 2016 the penalty will be 2.5 percent of income or $695, whichever is greater.
For details about insurance plans available in Contra Costa County, see the Covered California Health Plans Booklet.