Covered California Helps Uninsured

Covered California looks to help Californians get affordable health insurance

The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment will begin in less than six weeks in California, and administrators of Covered California are on a mission to explain what it means for residents.

Covered California, the state's marketplace for health insurance, has arranged for six health care providers in Los Angeles County and others across the state to offer coverage for some 800,000 uninsured residents.

Peter Lee, the program's executive director, said health coverage won't change for those who have employer-based coverage. It will instead serve to fill in the gaps so all Californians can get affordable health insurance.

Premium costs will depend on income and how much the federal government will provide in subsidies for a resident's location, age and chosen plan.

The deadline for open enrollment begins Oct. 1. Anyone who is left uninsured by Jan. 1 will be forced to pay a penalty.

Part of Covered California's mission is to help residents understand just what that means. A town hall meeting was held at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Friday, where 300 attendees were given specifics.   

"I think there's a definite need to demystify what ACA is, that's definitely why I'm here," said Norwalk resident Enrique Aranda. "The showing here from the public definitely speaks to that."

More meetings are planned around California, including one in North Hollywood next week.

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