Starting in 2014, most people will be required to have health insurance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. If you are not covered by your own or a family member’s health plan, you will have to get insurance. Two important ways people will do this are expanded Medi-Cal benefits or the state-operated marketplace called Covered California.
Expanded Medi-Cal will provide medical coverage to adults, who are predominately working, ages 21-64. Individuals may qualify for expanded Medi-Cal if their Modified Adjusted Gross Income (explained below) is less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level FPL.
You can apply beginning October 1, 2013 for coverage in January 2014. To apply call 1-800-300-1506 TTY 1-888-889-4500.
You may even qualify for a current County health care program now. Visit the Low-Income Health Program (LIHP).
If you do not qualify for Expanded Medi-Cal, you may qualify for other health coverage through Covered California.
Covered California is the new state-run marketplace or exchange for individuals, families and small businesses. Visit the site to find out if you and your family might get financial assistance on a sliding scale to make coverage more affordable. You will be able to compare and choose health coverage that best fits your needs and budget. (Covered California en espanol)
The Covered California phone number is 1-888-975-1142.
2-1-1 San Diego also has information on Covered California. Visit the website or dial 2-1-1 to speak with someone.
Covered California produced the following video introduction to the changes. (Video en espanol)
Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)
Generally, your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is the total of your adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income you may have. These are the amounts on lines 37 and 8b of IRS form 1040. Some examples of income are: wages, salaries, tips, taxable interest, certain dividends, business income, capital gains, and unemployment compensation, as well as annuities, Social Security payments and some pensions.