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ACA Updates: Covered California Benefit Plans and Calculate Your Premium Online

California is first state to announce benefit plans including co-pays, deductibles

California's insurance marketplace, Covered California, will open in October, 2013. People will be able to buy insurance, which will take effect January 1, 2014.

California’s insurance marketplace, Covered California, will open in October, 2013. People will be able to buy insurance, which will take effect January 1, 2014.

Calling today a “game changer for California and a game changer for the nation,” Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state’s marketplace for health insurance, announced benefit plans that will be featured in the exchange.

He also unveiled its updated website (in English and Spanish) where consumers can access what is sure to be a very popular premium calculator. People with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty are eligible for subsidies from the federal government to help purchase insurance. The calculator gives an estimate of what you will pay after the subsidy.

[Update September, 2013: Covered California has new Shop and Compare Tool]

An estimated 2.6 million Californians are expected to qualify for the subsidy. People who receive Medi-Cal or employer-based health insurance are not eligible and will continue to receive health insurance through their current plans.

California is the first state in the nation to release benefit packages for the public to review. ”The most important aspect of these plans is that they’re standardized. … Consumers will be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons that they haven’t been able to make in the past,” Lee said in a press conference. Continue reading