Question: I am a 60 year old retired widower. I have health insurance through my wife’s former employer due to a spousal continuation provision. I pay 100% of the premium. My income is approx 40K and my premiums are $1200/mo. I can’t afford this much longer. I continued with this coverage because I have a pre-existing condition and would not be able to find other coverage - at least anything remotely affordabe. Will I be able to buy insurance through the exchange?
Answer: Absolutely! Any legal resident of California under the age of 65 can purchase health care coverage in the Covered California health insurance marketplace. You mentioned your preexisting condition and the fact tat you are “locked-in” your current coverage which is unaffordable. This will no longer be the case as of January 2014. Preexisting medical conditions will no longer affect either the availability or cost of coverage either within the Covered California marketplace or in the market outside the exchange. Additionally, your income qualifies you for a premium subsidy which can only be had in the Covered California marketplace. It should make your coverage considerably more affordable.