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What is Covered California and How Does It Relate to the Health Insurance Exchange?

Every state in the country has the option to develop its own health insurance exchange, which will serve as an online marketplace for health insurance coverage. For those states that do not elect this option, their exchange model will come from the federal level. Since every individual must get health insurance (or pay a penalty tax for failing to do so), the exchanges are built to offer consumers as many options as possible when selecting their health insurance plan.

Consumers will be able to browse online to view plans in the four different coverage categories and compare the various co-pays, premiums, and deductibles in order to select their chosen plans. Assistance will be available both by phone and in person to guide individuals through their decisions if needed.

Covered California is the name of the California state’s health insurance exchange. Enrollment for this marketplace will open for all Californians on October 1st of 2013 and end on March 31, 2014 on the first year of the exchange. The application process can be initiated in several different ways, including online, in-person, or by phone. The interview process is the first step, and it’s used to determine the family size and the income level. Lower and middle income families may qualify for certain subsidies, and an in-person assister or an agent can help walk you through this process.

Health insurance agents can assist you with selecting coverage just like before, only now you’ll be able to access a state of the art website to consider various plans and enroll in one. If you have questions, your on-hand agent can help to address your concerns.

Since all health insurance plans are required to have certain preventive services covered and clearly explained, it will be easier for consumers using Covered California to compare the different healthcare plans in an apples to apples fashion. To learn more about Covered California and get additional information on how you can apply for coverage, visit the organization’s website.