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Middle-Income Californians May Get A Break On Health Insurance

— Poor Californians aren't the only ones who will be eligible for financial help to buy health insurance under Obamacare. A new analysis reveals nearly 3 million middle-income Californians might also catch a break.

Aired 9/11/13 on KPBS News.

Low-income Californians will get the biggest break on health insurance under Obamacare but millions of middle-class people won't have to pay retail, either.

According to the group Families USA, Californians with the lowest income will get the most financial help. For example, nearly 2.9 million people will be newly eligible for free coverage through the expanded Medi-Cal program.

Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollock said people who make a decent living may also get some assistance.

"For a person living alone, it means income up to about $46,000; for a family of three, it's income of about $78,000 that are eligible for these subsidies," Pollock said.

The subsidies will come in the form of tax credits. They'll be deducted from the cost of health insurance premiums.

Los Angeles Congressman Henry Waxman said the discounts will come in handy.

"Health insurance is a valuable thing and therefore, it's not always cheap," Waxman said. "But that's why that financial assistance we put into the law is so important and that's why it's essential that Californians know they may be eligible for assistance."

Californians can find out whether they qualify for a subsidy beginning Oct. 1. That's when the state's online marketplace, Covered California, opens for business.

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