Assignment 7

Affordable Care Act insurance plans revealed

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Prescription pills. Affordable Care Act coverage starts soon

Federal law requires all Americans to have health care on January 1, 2014. Many people will get medical coverage from their employers, but for those that don't, California has rolled out a program to not only help people get covered but to help them pay for it. With the new health care reform ABC7 News has a closer look at the coverage that will be available.

"Covered California is for people that are in the individual market or who don't have insurance," said Executive Director of Covered California Peter Lee.

The state department is tasked with implementing the Affordable Care act in California. The law requires that all Americans have health insurance.

"The Affordable Care Act doesn't change things if you have insurance today. So, if you have insurance through your job, through medical, keep it," said Lee.

If people don't have insurance, they can choose a plan that best fits their needs starting October 1.

The coverage is the same for everyone, but what people pay per month depends on how much they make.

There are four levels of coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. They all provide preventive care at no additional cost to consumers. But there's a big range in what people will pay each month.

The least expensive option is the Bronze plan. It has a $5,000 deductible for medical or drug expenses with a $60 co-pay for up to three doctor visits a year.

The Silver plan has a $2,000 medical deductible and a $45 co-pay.

The Gold and Platinum plans have no deductible. People will pay more monthly for them, but will pay less for doctor visits. The co-pay is $30 for gold and $20 for platinum.

The choice of coverage will also impact the amount people pay for generic prescriptions. The Bronze, Silver and Gold plans will cost $19 per prescription. The Platinum plan will cost just $5.

On three of the plans the maximum out of pocket expense for one person is $6,350 a year. It will cost $12,700 dollars for a family. On the platinum plan those numbers drop to $4,000 and $8,000.

Monthly costs are based on annual income and the plan people choose. So, individuals making up to $44,680 and a family of four earning up to $92,200 may be eligible for a tax credit. The less people make, the less they pay.

To find out your monthly payment, Covered California has created a simple online calculator at coveredca.com.

For a 32-year-old person making $24,000 a year, the silver plan would cost $272 a month, but they would get a $140 credit from the government, so their monthly premium would actually be $132.

A family of four making $48,000 a year would get a $557 credit and pay just $257 a month.

The amount of that credit will change based on a person's discount.

If people currently have medical insurance from their employer, Medicare, Medicaid or Medi-Cal, they won't have to choose from one of the state plans. But there are changes.

To hear what happens to people who are already insured, watch ABC7 News Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Written and produced by Ken Miguel

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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obamacare, health care, health insurance, assignment 7
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