Five-point-two million Californians are now swimming in the sea of the health coverage enrollment process laid out in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
It’s an attractive option for people struggling to care for their families.
Here’s how it works: your annual income determines how much you pay. There are three programs for individuals or families who need assistance or who don’t currently have health insurance.
Some include help with premiums and health care costs.
“Basically, it’s a sliding scale. They’ll get subsidized copayments to the doctor and on some situations a immediate tax credit,” Amber Lidskin, a certified Covered California agent, told FOX40.
While it depends on family size and income, anyone who makes less than $15,415 annually qualifies for medical – which is free, though it’s tough for those with a child.
Everything from regular checkups, to surgeries, to medication is covered, and copays are based on income and family size.
“Now, if they are making more than $45,000 a year as an individual, they don’t get help anymore but they still get access to health care because another thing that has been blocking people is having a preexisting condition,” Lidskin said.
While you can’t get turned away for having a pre-existing condition, Obamacare isn’t a free ride.
If you don’t have coverage, you’ll be fined one percent of your yearly income or $95 dollars per person for the year – whichever is the higher amount.
“And as each year goes by that gets bigger and bigger,” Lidskin said.
You’ll also be penalized for each child who is not enrolled.