(SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) Bay Area consumers could see health insurance rates rise by more than 20 percent under proposals being considered by state lawmakers to carry out the new federal health legislation, according to the state Insurance Department.

The federal health law requires most Americans to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, and many people will be purchasing coverage through state- or federal-run insurance exchanges, or virtual marketplaces.

The law, often referred to as Obamacare, will prohibit health insurers from rejecting or charging consumers more based on their medical histories. Charging more based on age will be limited so older consumers cannot pay more than three times what a younger person would pay.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.