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The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Your Benefits Under the ACA

The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obama-care” has expanded care to millions, while enacting protections and benefits for most. See below for the list of benefits, rights, and protections under the ACA:

Insurance Companies Can No Longer:

  • deny you health coverage due to a pre-existing condition
  • charge women more than men for health insurance coverage.
  • place lifetime limits on the amount of money they spend on your coverage.

Insurance companies must:

  • cover 10 minimum essential benefits in all health insurance plans.
    • Maternity and newborn care
    • Emergency Services
    • Prescription Drugs
    • Pediatric (children) services, including dental and vision.
    • Outpatient Care
    • Hospitalization
    • Mental Health Services and Addiction Treatment
    • Rehabilitative services and devices
    • Lab services
    • Preventative services (free)
  • cover the cost of the following preventative services:
    • Immunizations
    • Cancer screenings
    • Mental health screenings
    • HIV & STI Tests
    • Annual Physical
    • Smoking and Alcohol Cessation
    • Well-woman visits
    • Diabetes screenings.

There are annual limits on the amount of money you pay out of pocket, regardless of how much health care you receive. Financial assistance to pay for health insurance is available for those that qualify.


A person must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Qualified Health Plan through Covered California.

  • Must be a citizen or national of the United States, or a non-citizen who is lawfully present in the United States.

  • Must be or intend to be a California resident.

  • Can not be incarcerated (except if pending disposition or judgment of charges)

For more information on eligibility for immigrants click here.

For more information on documents to confirm eligibility click here.

How to Enroll in Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act established a federal market place exchange called so that individuals can compare and shop for different health insurance plans and apply for financial assistance. The ACA allowed states the option of creating their own market place exchange. California was the first state to create their own marketplace exchange, called Covered CA. Covered California makes it easy to shop and compare a variety of health insurance plans so that you can choose the best plan to fit your budget and health care needs. Simply  use the shop and compare tool. 

You may enroll in a Covered CA health plan by: