Health Care Reform – The Affordable Care Act

Issues: Healthcare

As of March 31, open enrollment in health plans through Covered California is CLOSED. However, if you have lost your health insurance recently, or have another life changing event like moving to a new area or getting married, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period. And some health coverage options, including Medi-Cal, are open to join year-round. The next enrollment period is scheduled for Fall 2014. You can visit for more information on whether you can sign up now, or wait for the next enrollment period.

Do you have Medicare? Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so if you have Medicare you don’t need to do anything. You’re considered covered under the health care law. Click here to learn more.

Working to Ensure the Affordable Care Act Works for the Central Coast

Changing the way our nation delivers health care is not a simple or easy undertaking. And while there have been a lot of successes with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is no question that adjustments and improvements to the ACA are needed. That’s why I have been working hard to improve the law, by making options more affordable for families and small businesses, by improving benefits, and by strengthening provider networks. I always like to hear from my constituents, so please contact me with your questions, concerns and feedback about the implementation of the healthcare law.

Health Care Reform

The Affordable Care Act makes significant investments to improve the health of our nation and ensure access to quality, affordable health care. It is an important starting point towards strengthening the health insurance coverage most people already have, providing affordable health insurance coverage to the millions of people who were without, and shifting our nation’s focus from sick-care to one focused on preventing disease in the first place.

The law includes the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which ends the most egregious abuses of insurance companies, ensures that everyone can get insurance coverage so it will always be there when they need it. It makes it easier to access preventive health care services by eliminating co-pays for important recommended screenings such as those for heart disease or cervical cancer. For seniors, the law closes the Medicare Part D “donut hole” and extends the financial solvency of the Medicare program by cracking down on waste fraud and abuse. And it does all this while reducing the nation’s deficit by an estimated by $140 billion over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Below you can find several fact sheets with additional details, and you can also get the latest information on how the law could help you by visiting or

Covered California

Covered California is California's health insurance marketplace where individuals, families, and small businesses can find affordable health insurance, regardless of if they have a pre-existing condition. During the six-month period ending on March 31, 2014, nearly 1.4 million people in California enrolled in a health care plan.

Covered California offers a simple way to find health insurance and access financial assistance to pay for coverage. During active enrollment periods, you can shop online, over the phone, or in person to find the right health care insurance option for you.

Through Covered California, both individuals and small businesses can compare different health insurance plans. Individuals can learn if they qualify for federal financial assistance that can lower the cost of health insurance, or if they are eligible for health programs like Medi-Cal. In addition, employers with fewer than 25 full-time workers will be able to find out if they qualify for a small business tax credit that can help cover the cost of providing employee health care.

Enrollment in health plans through Covered California has concluded for the general public until the fall of 2014, but you may be eligible for a special enrollment period now if you experience a qualified life changing ever. Enrollment in Medi-Cal is available all year long, however. Visit here for more information.

The Top Four Things You Need to Know:

Additional Resources