*This post applies to under age 65 only.
Here are the main changes that will take place January 2014
Everyone will be required to have health care coverage (with some exceptions). Most people will be required by federal law to have health insurance or pay a penalty to the federal government if they do not.
Each state will have a Health Insurance Marketplace, often referred to as an exchange. These Marketplaces, set to hold an open enrollment beginning in October 2013, will offer another place to find health coverage. Consumers are still able to off the exchange.
Guaranteed issue. Medical underwriting will no longer be required in the health insurance application process. By law, health insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of pre-existing or ongoing conditions like cancer or diabetes.
Individuals and families may be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government. Help with premiums and will be available through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Covered California). Assistance will be based on a sliding income scale for individuals and families.
There are four levels of coverage–Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each level will offer different combinations of co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Bronze plans will have lower premiums with higher out-of-pocket costs, while plans in the higher tiers will have higher premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs.
Our health advisors are available to help with questions and the enrollment process.