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WASHINGTON, May 23 -- Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. (11th CD), issued the following news release:
Rep. George Miller (Contra Costa County), coauthor of the national health reform law in Congress, known as Obamacare, issued the following statement after it was announced today that more than a dozen health insurance plans will offer a number of quality and affordable coverage options in the newly established insurance market for individuals and families who have been crushed by rising premium costs or who have gone without insurance altogether.
The announcement was made by Covered California, the state's new health insurance marketplace created as part of the Affordable Care Act.
"Today's announcement shows that competition among health insurers in an open and transparent marketplace makes a difference - affordable options for millions of California families," said Rep. Miller. "This is what we sought to deliver when we passed the Affordable Care Act. For the first time, beginning in October, Californians who lack affordable insurance today will be able to shop among several health insurance plans in a real marketplace. I commend Covered California in being a national leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act and I encourage Californians to pay careful attention as open enrollment season grows near."
In addition, for those who qualify, individuals purchasing health insurance through the state's marketplace will be able to receive federal tax credits that will immediately reduce their premiums even further. For instance, an individual who earns $27,000 a year could save more than $200 a month on premiums with the use of the tax credits. And, a family of four that earns $60,000 that purchases coverage on the individual market could be eligible for a tax credit of nearly $5,000 a year.
Specifically, Covered California announced:
* 13 health insurance plans will participate in the state's marketplace, with most regions offering five to six plans. In Contra Costa County, insurance companies participating include Kaiser, Anthem, Blue Shield, Contra Costa Health Services, and Health Net.
* Annual maximum out-of-pocket health expenses will be limited to $6,350, providing additional protections against health-cost related bankruptcies.
* Health insurance premiums for individuals and families in the insurance marketplace will be comparable to current rates in the small-group market today and in some cases 29 percent lower.
Today's announcement was the first of several major announcements that will be made between now and October when the new insurance market is scheduled to be fully operational. Many benefits of the Affordable Care Act are already in effect, particularly those protecting children and young adults and seniors, but the main thrust of the law affecting adults takes effect beginning in 2014. States, the federal government, and health providers and insurers are in the process of gearing up now for the law's full implementation.
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