The Basics: What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

May. 13, 2013 / By

The city of Long Beach is expected to greatly benefit from the Affordable Care Act when the law goes into full effect next year.

Around 22 percent of the city’s population does not have health insurance, according to the US Census.

The ACA is projected to expand coverage to almost 95,000 people living in Long Beach, either through federal subsidies or Medi-Cal, which is California’s version of Medicaid.

Latinos are expected to mostly benefit from the subsidies and Medi-Cal expansion, with about 32 percent of them currently uninsured within the city of Long Beach.

Although the Medi-Cal expansion and federal subsidies don’t go into effect until January, several reforms have already taken place under The ACA. Here are some key details:

  • Currently children under 19 cannot be denied health coverage and can stay on their parents plan until they are 26.
  • Co-payments are no longer required for very vital services such as flu shots and cervical cancer screenings.
  • Adults now have access to health care even if they have a pre-existing condition.
  • If someone is denied coverage from a health insurance program, that person can take that denial letter and can apply for the federally run health insurance program which is called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).

“It’s not cheap, but it allows you to buy insurance without getting denied,” said Anthony Ly, program coordinator at the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Medi-Cal and Healthy Families Outreach Program.

Starting January 1, nearly all Americans will be required to purchase health insurance or else face certain penalties when filing their taxes. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to break your bank.

Buying health insurance will be a lot more affordable than it is now, thanks to subsidies people will be able to receive from the federal government, which will be directly sent to the person’s or family’s health insurance company.

The amount of subsidies that individuals will be eligible for is entirely dependent on household income. For example, a family of four making between $32,499 to $47,100 annually can expect to receive the highest amount of subsidies from the government.

Any individual or family with a household income of more than $94,200 of the federal poverty level will not be eligible for federal subsidies.

Starting next year, Medi-Cal eligibility will be expanded to over 2 million Californians who are at or below of the federal poverty level. Those who qualify must show proof that they are a documented worker who has resided in California for at least five years. Legal immigrants who have lived in the United States for less than five years will be eligible for federal subsidies towards private insurance.

“The ACA is federally funded, which is why there is no coverage for undocumented workers”, Ly said.

Non-English speakers living in Long Beach can come to the city’s Department of Health and Human Services or contact them at (562) 570-8122.

Check out the video below to listen to local healthcare officials speak about the ACA. For more information about the ACA, go HERE.

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Ben Novotny

Ben Novotny

Ben Novotny is an alumnus of California State University, Long Beach where he majored in Journalism and minored in American Studies. At CSULB Ben was a staff writer for The Union Weekly, the student-run campus newspaper and was actively involved with the school's TV production studio. Ben was a Contributing Writer for The Long Beach Post and the Long Beach Business Journal and has been a Youth Reporter at VoiceWaves for four years.