The landmark Supreme Court decision upholding Obama's health care law could mean some significant changes for Californians currently without health care.
If you have a preexisting medical condition and have been without medical insurance for six months or more:
- You may be eligible for coverage under California’s Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan, a temporary program that continues until Dec. 31, 2013. After that, a provision in the ACA kicks in that bars insurance companies from rejecting you, or from charging you higher premiums, based on your preexisting medical condition.
If you have a preexisting medical condition and are already enrolled in California’s temporary, Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan:
- Your coverage will continue until Dec. 31, 2013. After that, you must switch to an insurance company, which will not be able to reject you, or charge you higher premiums, based on your preexisting medical condition.
If you are an adult without dependent children and your household income meets a particular poverty level, and you are not now eligible for a government subsidy program:
- You may be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage on Jan. 1, 2014.
- Meanwhile, you may also be eligible for California’s early expansion of Medi-Cal if your county is among those participating in the Low Income Health Program (LIHP) program. Then in 2014, you’ll be automatically moved into Medi-Cal.
If you are an adult without dependent children and your household income meets a particular poverty level, and your county is participating in the LIHP program:
- You may be eligible for coverage immediately via LIHP. Then, in 2014, you can move into the California Health Benefits Exchange Program – which will provide an array of affordable private health insurance plans -- under which you may be eligible for a subsidy toward your insurance purchase.
If your family income is above the poverty level:
- You must purchase health insurance beginning in 2014, either on your own or through the California Health Benefit Exchange. If you don’t purchase insurance, you must pay a federal tax penalty.
If you are between 18 and 25 years old:
- The ACA allows you to remain on your parents’ existing insurance coverage.