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Sunday April 20th 2014

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Feds OK California’s Health Exchange Plan

CapitolCalifornia received conditional approval from the federal government to establish a health care exchange. California is among seven states that received the go-ahead from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to operate its own health insurance exchange, one of the provisions under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The goal of the exchange is to create what federal officials call a direct-to-consumer market. Beginning in October, consumers and small businesses will be able to contact the California Health Benefit Exchange to buy competitively priced health plans. The exchange is open to all residents who meet federal citizenship requirements. Those who may qualify for federal tax subsidies and credits to help buy health insurance include those with incomes between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Coverage will begin in 2014 according to a recent report in The Los Angeles Daily News.