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Health Care Exchange Announces Benefit Plan Choices

Californians can now get an estimate of what health insurance might cost next year when the affordable care act fully kicks in. The Covered California website offers a wealth of information.

Low-income Californians without health insurance or who aren’t eligible for Medi-Cal can now see which benefits they can expect under the federal health care overhaul- and how much their coverage will cost.

The website spells out the copays and deductibles for consumers who will have to buy their own health insurance. These costs and the monthly premiums will vary depending on the type of plan selected.

All of the plans have standardized benefits. Covered California's executive director Peter Lee said that will make it easier for people to compare plans from different insurers.

"We're changing the focus of health insurance from being a shell game, hiding what's covered and what's not covered, to being about health insurance providing the best care possible, to help people stay healthy, get care when they need it, and lower costs," Lee explained.

Regardless of the plan selected, the maximum out-of-pocket expense for families will be $12,800 a year.

Covered California officials hope to begin enrollment in the new wave of health plans later this fall. The mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance takes effect next January.

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