Sacramento, CA – The Associate Press reports California’s Health Benefit Exchange is the first in the nation to create standard benefits. Those benefits are designed to help people shop for insurance coverage under the federal health care overhaul. Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee says the benefits will help consumers more easily determine what kind of coverage they want.
In January, the federal government has approved California’s plan to run its own health insurance market, a milestone in the state’s effort to meet the national health care reform law. California was the first state to authorize a health insurance exchange after passage of the federal Affordable Care Act in 2010. The California Health Benefit Exchange board, which now goes by Covered California, submitted its operational plan last December to expand coverage by at least 2 million. The state has about 7.7 million people without health insurance. The AP says Covered California plans to have its exchange up and running in time for open enrollment on Oct. 1.