Calculating the cost of ObamaCare for Californians

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SAN DIEGO – Come January 2104, ObamaCare will require individuals and their dependents to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

“We’re terrified of it, terrified of it,” said William Dubois, who says he has downloaded and read the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Nurse and Patient

A nurse checks a patient’s IV line. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times)

California is the first state in the nation to create a marketplace where legal California residents can buy health coverage.

Covered California, is the new state run marketplace where Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross, and Blue Shield are among the 13 health plans that will offer policies in the state’s exchange.  It is aimed at many of the state’s uninsured and at Californians who already purchase their own insurance.

“I think ObamaCare will do a lot of people, who don’t have health care, good,” said William Dubois, who is currently receiving free health care under ObamaCare.

The majority of Californians receives health coverage from their employers and is not among those targeted for enrollment.

Dubois, who is 77-years old, said he continues to work at his full-time job because he is afraid to retire and lose the private health insurance he receives from his employer.

 In California, individuals earning less than $16,000 a year will qualify for an expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor.

Some 5 million consumers expected to shop in the exchange will choose from Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze insurance plans.  Platinum policies will offer the most comprehensive benefits and carry the highest prices, followed by Gold, Silver and Bronze.  The Bronze package will have the lowest premiums, but people will have to pay for a greater share of their medical bills.

According to Covered California’s cost estimate calculator, a 40-year old couple with two children younger than 21-years old and making $59,477 a year would pay a monthly premium of $403 after a tax credit from the government. $59,477 is the median household income for the San Diego-Carlsbad-and San Marcos California metro area in 2011, the latest figures available.

The Silver plan features a $2,000 deductible, a $45 co-pay for primary care visits, a $250 emergency room co-pay and a maximum annual out of pocked expense of $6,350.  It is expected to cover 70 percent of an individual’s healthcare expenses.

For more information on Covered California got to:


  • Robyn

    Are you sure it will be in the January, 2104? I thought it was sooner than that! Either way, it sucks. Thanks Obama for taxing and taxing and taxing.

  • Ryan

    2104? Really? I thought that this law was intended to benefit us, not our great-great-grandchildren… Spellcheck doesn’t do numbers, you know.

  • guest

    If Mr. Dubois has private health insurance through his employer why is he "currently receiving free health care under ObamaCare"? Seems like there's a problem with the system already and I haven't even read the Affordable Care Act.

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