California health exchange seeking $190 million in federal aid

June 28, 2012|By Chad Terhune
  • Healthcare law supporters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, when the court ruled the Affordable Court Act constitutional.
Healthcare law supporters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court… (Alex Wong/Getty Images )

California's new insurance exchange is seeking about $190 million in additional federal money as it prepares to help millions of consumers shop for health insurance.

Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, said the funding request was sent this week, before the Supreme Court decision upholding the federal healthcare program. The exchange plans to use the money to help build an enrollment system for millions of Californians who can start signing up for policies in October 2013.

Lee said he received a congratulatory call from his 84-year-old mother in Pasadena shortly after the court ruling was announced.

"This is great news for California and the future of healthcare in America," Lee said. "California has been moving full speed ahead for the past year and this opinion means we will continue on that path to provide healthcare coverage to 5 million people who are without insurance."

Lee said this coverage expansion can help not only the uninsured, but he hopes it will help bring down the costs for all employers and consumers who already face rising premiums.

"We now have the tools to rein in healthcare costs that are a millstone around the necks of small businesses, large employers, governments and families across the state," Lee said.

Next month, the exchange will be discussing requirements for health plans that want to be sold through the online marketplace.

California families earning up to $92,000 a year will be eligible for federal subsidies to purchase policies through the exchange.


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