California first to set standard health benefits

People will be able to shop for coverage

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -  

California's health benefit exchange is the first in the nation to create standard benefits designed to help people shop for insurance coverage under the federal health care overhaul.
 
   Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, announced the benefits Wednesday. He said they would help consumers more easily determine what kind of coverage they want to buy.
 
   Lee says the move will prevent insurers from playing a "shell game" and get people quality care at lower costs.
 
   About 2.6 million Californians who will be eligible for federal subsidies will be able to figure out their monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses before insurance companies submit their bids later this year. Californians eligible for assistance will pay only a percentage of their income.
 
   The benefits can be found by logging into www.coveredca.com .
 
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