California health exchange rolls out coverage options [The Sacramento Bee]
|By Jeremy B. White, The Sacramento Bee|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"They are ready to play by the rules," Lee said of the insurance industry at a news conference. "They are ready to embrace the opportunity to compete not based on a shell game of hidden benefits but based on quality and value."
Federal rules sort available types of plans into four tiers that vary based on factors like cost and scope of coverage.
"Even in states without that extra step it's an improvement over current standards," Wright said. "But as opposed to apples and oranges, we're dealing with McIntoshes and Red Deliciouses."
Every plan available on the marketplace will guarantee a base line level of essential benefits that includes preventive care, prescription drug coverage, pediatric services and mental health treatment.
Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage or imposing lifetime limits.
"Not only can
About 2.6 million Californians are expected to qualify for federal subsidies aimed at making insurance affordable for lower-income Americans.
Lee said he anticipates that an additional 2.7 million uninsured Californians who make too much to receive a subsidy will purchase insurance through Covered California.</p>
The subsidies serve Californians in the middle of the income spectrum, who can get financial help to buy insurance but make too much to qualify for
"This is not a poverty program," Lee said, noting that a family of four making up to
Those getting subsidies will contribute a percentage of their income, with the government covering the rest. The amount varies based on income: a subsidized individual at the low end of the salary scale could have a monthly premium of between
Still unclear is how much Californians who make too much to qualify for a subsidy would pay. Covered
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