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Covered California: 4 levels of coverage - What's right for you?

October 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are four levels of health insurance available through the new health care marketplace called Covered California: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Covered California: What you need to know

That coverage is for individuals, families and small businesses that don't have insurance now or want to change what they have.

The cost of the health insurance depends on which level you choose.

"Silver plan means that 70 percent of what your health care costs are going to be paid by your insurance, and 30 percent you'll pay when you go visit the doctor or when you go to the hospital. That's a pretty standard plan," said Peter Lee, Covered California's executive director. "Bronze plan, you actually spend more out of your pocket, but less in premium. That platinum plan, you spend a lot more in premium, but if you actually go to the doctor, you spend almost nothing."

Lee says health care cost is specific to your circumstance, so it's going to depend on three big factors:

- How big is your family?

- How old are you?

- Where do you live?

You can visit the Covered California website at www.coveredca.com and put in that information and shop for plans.

Using the least expensive bronze level and the most expensive platinum level, here are some examples of typical out of pocket expenses for each:

- For bronze, your annual deductible would be $5,000. For platinum, it's zero deductible.

- A primary care visit to your doctor costs $60 in co-payment at the bronze level and $20 for the platinum level.

- Brand name prescription drugs will cost you $50 with bronze coverage, and $15 with platinum.

Through the Covered California website at www.coveredca.com, you can compare all of the different health plan benefits, use a calculator that allows you to estimate how much the insurance may cost you, and it will tell you if you qualify for financial assistance. You can also get the information in person or by phone.

Covered California: What you need to know


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