|By Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Calif.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Enrollment will begin in October, according to
The law requires everyone older than age 18 to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
If you have health insurance, you can keep it. But if you're not covered and you're a legal
For a family of four earning from
The cost will vary, depending on income and number of dependents. There will be a standard set of benefits with variation in the co-pay and deductible, depending on which of the four levels of plans you select.
McKay expects 11,000 to 15,000 county residents will buy health insurance with a subsidy via the exchange. The first enrollment period will last six months.
The idea of enrolling everyone is for "healthy folks to support the
rest," said McKay, who underwent 17 hours of brain surgery at 26 to save his life.
The alliance, which has 210,000 low-income members in
The alliance put
"We've taken the waste out," McKay said. "Our goal is to take a pot of money and deliver care efficiently."
Asked about big hospital bills incurred by the uninsured, he said, "This is why the alliance doesn't pay the hospital based on the chargemaster rate."
He said hospitals must ensure discharged patients don't have to be readmitted and individuals need to take personal responsibility for behaviors that contribute to chronic conditions.
He encouraged those looking for a Medigap policy to consult HICAP at 831-462-5510 but admitted when helping his mother, he found the options "rather bewildering."
One woman attended because she has a young-adult daughter without health coverage who will have to buy some.
"I'm glad I came," said
AT A GLANCE
To learn more about health insurance options, go to www.coveredca.com.