If you buy health insurance through Covered California, each member of your household will get a $1 dollar bonus every month for choosing Covered California in 2022. That’s right, $12 for the whole year. That extra dollar will take the sting out of the rate increase you received for growing one year older.
$1 Credit Per Enrolled Member Every Month
You can thank the State of California (AB 133) for creating your $1 windfall by creating the “California Premium Credit Program.” However, Covered California will not send $1 every month, they are sending it to your health plan. Every person enrolled in a health plan through Covered California, whether they receive a subsidy or not, will have the $1 advanced to their health plan.
It seems that some people, who have the attention of important people in the State Capitol, don’t like Covered California members being charged $1 for health insurance. There is a rule, whether state or federal I know not, that stipulates individuals in Covered California must pay at least $1 for their health insurance. There are situations where the subsidy the individual is eligible for is greater than the premium of the health plan. This technically results in a $0 monthly premium. But the rule said No, you have to pay $1 per person per month.
Some Premiums Will Be $0 After the $1 Credit
The new 2022 California Premium Credit Program covers the cost of said rule so that anyone who had a $1 monthly charge, will now have a $0 premium for their health insurance. Of course, the credit could not apply just to people who were being charge only $1, everyone must receive the special $1 dollar bonus. (I’ll ignore the contradiction that households with very low incomes are awarded Enhanced Silver plans 73, 87, 94 with reduced cost-sharing benefits.)
The $1 credit is not part of either a federal or state premium subsidy. The big bonus – $12 for a whole year of enrollment – does not need to be reconciled on federal or state tax returns…at least that is the word from Covered California. The credit is only for health plan premiums and not applied to dental insurance plans.
The $1 credit will show up on the health plan member’s monthly invoice or statement, but it is not to be considered a consumer payment. In other words, if your monthly premium is $100, and you get a $1 credit, you can’t claim you made a partial payment. The grace periods relative to premium payments still apply: 90 days for subsidized members and 30 days for non-subsidized enrollments.
The $1 credit cannot be prorated. You won’t receive a $0.50 credit if you child was born on the 15th of the month, you get the FULL $1! If you are the recipient of a $0 premium amount, the Pay Now button on the Covered California enrollment page will be inoperable. An invoice will be generated from the health plan showing a $0 monthly balance. The $1 credit will be appropriately listed in your Covered California account enrollments page.
Now that you are feeling filthy rich, don’t spend your $1 all in one place.