UPDATE 4:39 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 - Californians will have more time to purchase health insurance plans that take effect in the new year.
Sunday was the original deadline to purchase insurance plans from Covered California that take effect Jan. 1.
But state officials announced Monday that they are extending the deadline through Friday. Plans purchased after Friday will take effect in February.
The final deadline to purchase health insurance through Covered California is Jan. 31. Covered California is the state's health insurance marketplace.
Some people who purchase plans through Covered California are eligible to get help paying their monthly premiums.
To get help enrolling, CLICK HERE.
CHICO, Calif. - There are some new healthcare laws you should be aware of heading into 2020, and James Scullary of Covered California came to the Action News Now studio to share what you need to know.
Open enrollment begins on Oct. 15 and health care costs in Chico, Redding and throughout the North State will see a decrease for 2020. Across California, the weighted average rate change is 0.8%, however, rates in this region are seeing a drop of 1.7%, Scullary said.
Existing consumers can save more if they switch to the lowest-cost plan at the same benefit level, lowering their rates by an average of 8.4%.
Two state initiatives that will provide more financial help for nearly one million people, including middle-income consumers who previously did not get any help because they exceeded the federal requirements. The amount of help they receive will be varied based on age, income, and the cost of health care in their area. Some may get $50, others $150, and some could receive $750 or more, according to Covered California.
An example, a couple of the ages of 61 and 62, making $70,000 a year in Chico; in 2019, they do not qualify for federal credits and the lowest-cost Silver plan would be $2,772 per month. In 2020, that couple would be eligible for $2,178 in monthly state subsidies and the lowest-cost Silver plan would cost $230.
Consumers with a household income that ranges from $49,960 to $74,940 per individual, or $103,000 to $154,500 for a family of four, could be eligible, Covered California said.
California also restored the individual mandate, which lowered the cost of coverage, by requiring most people to get covered or pay a penalty.
For people who are facing a penalty, a family of four could pay $2,000 or more for not having health insurance throughout 2020. The penalty would be administered by California's Franchise Tax Board when consumers file their 2020 taxes in the Spring of 2021, Covered California said.
Watch the video play above for details from James Scullary.
For more information or to sign-up call, 1-800-300-1506 or CLICK HERE.