There are many public health insurance plans and options that make healthcare accessible to all California residents. These services are provided through the U.S. federal government or California Medicaid and Medicare programs. These public health insurance programs are available to you in the event that you do not want to enroll in private health insurance or are unable to afford other health insurance options.
Click on an area below to be taken to more detailed pages about Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), Medicaid, or Medicare programs, plans, options, and FAQs.
Obamacare, The Affordable Care Act
Obamacare, or The Affordable Care Act, refers to any health care insurance plan that can be bought through the federally operated Health Insurance Marketplace. When applying for Obamacare, you may find that you also qualify for cost assistance or government subsidies. About 93% of California residents that enroll through the California exchange qualify for government subsidies.
The following carriers are options in the California exchange:
- Anthem Blue Cross of California
- Blue Shield of California
- Chinese Community Health Plan
- Health Net
- Kaiser Permanente
- LA Care Health Plan
- Molina Healthcare
- Oscar Health Plan of California
- Sharp Health Health Plan
- Valley Health Plan
- Western Health Advantage
There are additional health insurance options outside of the Obamacare exchange as well, but they will require you to forgo your financial assistance.
California Medicaid: Health Insurance For Low Income
California Medicaid is the state-funded health insurance for low-income individuals, families, pregnant women, and those with disabilities. In 2014, California expanded its Medicaid program, in response to the growing need of its citizens, to include almost all non-elderly adults whose income was at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty limit. This expansion increased coverage to one-third of the total state population.
Medicare is the federal health insurance for those who are 65 years of age or older, or who have a specific disability such as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). If you have Medicare Part A today, you meet the requirements for qualified health coverage per the Affordable Care Act. Medicare Part B, unfortunately, does not meet this requirement so you will need additional health insurance coverage to avoid the Affordable Care Act penalty. Today, 14% of the total population in California receives Medicare benefits.
California Medicare programs and services include:
- Original Medicare Plans - Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance)
- Medicare Advantage Plan - Part C
- Medicare Rx Plan - Part D
- Medicare Advantage