In 2010, a federal law known as the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA, and more popularly known as "Obamacare") came into effect to change how people throughout the United States get health insurance, to decrease the number who do not have health insurance and to improve the quality of health care while decreasing overall costs. Since 2010, the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), in conjunction with community partners, has taken many steps to prepare for the ACA implementation date of January 1, 2014. By this date, every U.S. citizen and legal resident must have health insurance. For more on the Affordable Care Act, watch the following video developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation:
Download our simple guide to health care reform:
The following summarizes the changes to health care that have already occurred and will occur as a result of the ACA:
What has already changed?
What will change January 1, 2014?
If you already have health insurance, here is how health reform can impact you:
If you do not have health insurance, starting January 1, 2014 you may qualify for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid Program. Medi-Cal eligibility will expand to cover the following groups:
The following populations will continue to be eligible for Medi-Cal:
To enroll in Medi-Cal or find out if you qualify, call the Pasadena Public Health Department at (626) 744-6086. There is no fee to apply.
Behavioral Health Coverage under Medi-Cal has expanded and mental health services have been identified as essential health benefits, and therefore be more accessible.
Covered CA is the State's new health insurance marketplace, or "Exchange". Covered CA has two separate markets, one for individuals and families, and another for small businesses (also known as SHOP, Small business Health Options Program). This virtual health insurance marketplace will provide educational tools, price calculators, and other comparative information that will help individuals make informed decisions when purchasing health insurance plans. Covered CA insurance plans will cover the following 10 essential health benefits:
Only U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents can purchase health insurance through Covered CA. Those with incomes between 100% - 400% of FPL may be eligible for federal subsidies. Enrollment into Covered CA is available between October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. To speak with someone regarding Covered CA, call our partner, Young & Healthy at (626) 795-5166. There is no fee to apply and no fee for application assistance.
Even with implementation of the ACA, it is anticipated that individuals will continue to be uninsured. There are options for these individuals to seek health care. Download this PDF, developed by Insure the Uninsured Project to read about various County and State programs. Additionally, county and community health clinics are currently available to those who cannot receive health insurance due to citizenship, residency, age, or other reasons. Visit http://www.ladhs.org/wps/portal/clinicsearch to find a clinic near you.