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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Will I be Forced into Public Insurance?

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Question: My insurance company is terminating my coverage as of 12/31/2013. This means that my family will now have to seek coverage through the Exchange. How will I find non HMO/capitation insurance? I do not want to forced into non-private insurance. How will I find an insurance company I can afford without being forced into a welfare clinic type service plan.

Answer: If you earn less than $31,810 for a family of four, you will be eligible for free public insurance coverage under Medi-Cal. Otherwise, you will be able to buy the same high- quality health insurance from Covered California that is available on the private market today. You will not be forced to choose an HMO type plan (Covered California Copay Plan) if you prefer a Coinsurance Plan. Covered California is the only place where you can use tax credits or cost-sharing subsidies from government assistance programs to lower your health care costs. If you are not eligible for free public insurance or federally subsidized health insurance in Covered California, you can purchase the health insurance of your choice in the non-exchange marketplace.

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I qualify for medi-cal but I think everyone should know that this warning on the Med-Cal site is something everyone should be made aware of. “Warnings: Even though Medi-Cal offers many insurance advantages for the California residents, there is one important fact the everyone should be made aware of. If you apply for MC after you’re 55 years old, the state has the right to take your home to counter costs brought upon by the Medi-Cal after your death.” I don’t think many understand this when they apply for Medi-Cal. Thank you for your column.

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