Covered California: ABC7 will answer questions


And because many people have lots of questions about the new marketplace, all next week Eyewitness News will be helping with answers.

California was the first state to create its version of the health care marketplace. It's called Covered California. There will be four levels of insurance available through 12 different insurance companies. So you will have several choices of health plans through Covered California.

The cost of those plans will depend on where you live, your household income, the number of people in your home and the ages of the adults.

The Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, and come January 1, 2014, most of the Affordable Care Act will go into effect.

"What's happening on January 1st, 2014, is the biggest expansion of health care coverage since Medicare," said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.

But big also means there are a lot of questions about the new law.

- How is it going to affect the citizens of California?

- What's in it for me?

- Can I afford it?

- Who has to have insurance?

- What is the penalty if you don't?

- How do you sign up?

- What will it cost?

- How can you get financial assistance to help pay for the insurance premiums?

- All next week we'll be answering those questions and more.

You can begin signing up for Covered California health care coverage, if you meet the requirements, beginning Tuesday, October 1.

Remember: Whether it's through your employer, an individual insurance plan, or through Covered California, you must have health care coverage or you may have to pay a penalty.

Eyewitness News will bring you stories about the new health care plans all next week. And to help us kick things off we're having a phone bank on Monday during the 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news broadcasts.

You'll be able to call in with your questions and get answers from the folks at Covered California.

Covered California: What you need to know
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