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Open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or what is popularly known as Obamacare, begins Saturday.

Some 1.3 million Californians have purchased health insurance through Covered California, the online marketplace implementing Obamacare in California. You can apply online through Feb. 15, 2015, with coverage beginning as early as Jan. 1.

Through Covered California you can compare different plans from private insurance companies and select the one that best matches your needs.

Though an estimated 10.3 million previously uninsured American adults have gained coverage under the program, Obamacare still faces political headwinds. Some in the Republican Party want to repeal the act now that the party controls both the House and Senate, though President Obama would likely veto any changes.

A spokesman for Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat who represents the 52nd District, said he “doesn’t see the president signing a repeal” and added that Congress “should be working on necessary fixes to make sure the law works.”

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who represents the 49th District, has repeatedly criticized Obamacare, but a spokesman said “Rep. Issa would recommend that individuals carefully research options and choose the plan that best fits their needs even as Congress continues to debate changes to the new health law.”

Though criticized by some in the business community, Obamacare has been helpful to many entrepreneurs, allowing them to leave day jobs with health insurance to concentrate on a startup.

Key features of the law include:

  • You cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition
  • There is no lifetime dollar limit on coverage
  • Premium increases are reviewed for reasonableness
  • Preventive care is available at no cost
  • Most people must have health coverage or pay a fee

If you don’t have coverage in 2015, either through an employer plan, private insurance or Obamacare, you’ll pay a penalty of either 2 percent of your income, or $325 per adult, whichever is higher.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.