An exchange is an internet/web-based portal that people can go to for the purpose of purchasing health insurance.
Why did the government think they were necessary? Because the ACA requires every American to have or purchase health insurance beginning January 1, 2014 (the Individual Mandate), or pay a penalty on your tax return if you don’t. Details on the Individual Mandate will be addressed in the Individual Mandate Tab.
Each state had the option to either start its own State Exchange, participate in the Federal Exchange, or be part of a Partnership Exchange (a combination of state and federal exchanges). California decided early on (we were the first state to do so) that our state would have its own state exchange, now called Covered California.
Covered California (as well as other exchanges) opened their doors on October 1, 2013. The first available effective date for individuals and families that enrolled in Covered California is January 1, 2014. The open enrollment period for the first year was October 1 through March 31. With an extension in California for Certified agents to April 15th 2014.
This years Open Enrollment Period will be from November 15th, 2014 ——February 15th 2015!
Make sure you get the quality assistance you deserve. Our Certified Covered California Agents have been working with Covered California since they opened their doors on October 1st 2013! Contact us for an appointment.
The most important thing to understand is that if your employer offers you or your dependents (now defined as dependent children to age 26) health insurance coverage that meets the minimum standards (at least a 60% benefit) and is affordable by new government standards, you WILL NOT be eligible for a premium subsidy (reduction in cost, a subsidy paid on your behalf by the government to your insurance carrier) in the Exchange.