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ACA Frequently Asked Questions

What is “health care reform”?
The term “health care reform” refers to the Affordable Care Act and any other laws to put it into place to make it happen. The goal of these laws is to help more people get affordable health insurance and better medical care.

One key part of the ACA is that state’s Medi-Cal program is expanding. More people will be eligible for Medi-Cal, which is free. If you are currently on Medi-Cal your coverage will be the same and you just need to renew every year like you do now.
Who has to buy health insurance?
Most people will have to have a basic level of health coverage starting January 1, 2014. Some people will not have to buy health insurance because of their income or other reasons. Our Patient Access Department can help you find out what you may qualify for.

Patient Access Department
770 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose

Or you can go to for more information about Covered California plans and apply online.
What if I do not buy health insurance?
If you are required to have coverage, you will be charged a tax penalty. The penalty by the US government happens if you go without insurance for three months or longer.
What if I cannot afford health insurance?
Depending on your income and family size, you may qualify for financial help to pay these costs.
What services will be covered?
Most medically necessary services will be covered. This includes preventive care and well-care visits for men, women and children. Other benefits include immunizations, cancer screenings, prescriptions, laboratory services, behavioral health services, hospital and emergency care.
What if I am not eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act?
Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and its clinics are here to help you NOW. Santa Clara County residents who cannot be on other programs because of citizenship, residency, age, or other reasons still get care a nearby clinic.

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