In this particular case, the user ID of System-CW-San Diego alerted us that a case worker at San Diego County Medi-Cal had reviewed the application. I cannot say that the case worker changed the tax filing status. There are instances when the Medi-Cal system does not properly mesh with the Covered California CalHEERS software. There are times when conditional information is just erased or changed because of an incompatibility with the data fields.
Where households realize a dramatic increase in Blue Shield PPO Covered California premiums is when the SLCSP has a small increase or negative rate change. Consumers in regions 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 15, 16 and 18, where the SLCSP rate increases were in the low single digits will see a smaller subsidy. In other words, the Blue Shield PPO plan rate increases in those areas was greater than the SLCSP that the subsidy is based upon. The subsidy did not keep pace with the Blue Shield PPO rate increase like they did in regions 1 and 10.
The total annual premiums for the entire household are used for the affordability test for the other household members. (This calculation can be made on a monthly basis as well.) The total annual premiums for everyone offered the lowest cost health insurance is $15,147.84 That annual premium is 18.93 percent of the $80,000 estimated household income. Because the health insurance expense percentage is greater than 9.12 percent, it is deemed unaffordable, Pat, Bobby, and Catlin can enroll in a market place ACA health plan with the subsidies.
Fortunately, for most California taxpayers, the amount of the California premium assistance subsidy (CPAS) they received was relatively small. For some Covered California households who received large monthly amounts of the CPAS, the repayment could significantly add to their California income tax liability for 2021.
Tom received unemployment insurance in 2021. Because of the unemployment insurance, Tom’s household income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level, regardless of his income. That 133 percent of the federal poverty level translates into $0 annual contribution for the second lowest cost Silver plan. Since the second lowest cost Silver plan premiums equaled $15,000 for the year that amount becomes the maximum subsidy allowed. Tom is eligible for an additional $2,318.40 ($15,000 – $12,681.40) in Premium Tax Credit because of the unemployment insurance benefit.
Covered California will begin processing the extra subsidy increase for applications that indicate unemployment benefits on June 21, 2021. The unemployment insurance benefit could have been for just one week in January. The household income will be taken down to 138.1 percent of the federal poverty level, regardless of the income estimated by the consumer. The 138.1 percent income level will prevent adults from being automatically determined eligible for Medi-Cal. The new subsidy will be based on the lower income and applied to the health insurance premium.
The household contribution percentages progressively increase until they reach 8.5 percent when the Modified Adjusted Gross Income is at 400 percent of the FPL. There is no cap on the household income in order to receive the federal Premium Tax Credit subsidy. As long as the Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan exceeds 8.5 percent of the household income, there will be a subsidy to lower the cost.
For example, if the annual cost of the SLCSP is $6,200 and 8.5 percent of your household income is $5,000, then the subsidy is $1,200. When divided by twelve months, that would be $100 per month to lower the cost of any health plan offered to you through Covered California. If 8.5 percent of your household income $7,000, and the SLCSP is $6,200, there is no subsidy.
Individuals and families may be eligible for a temporary increase in premium tax credits for this year, with no one paying more than 8.5% of their household income towards the cost of the benchmark plan or a less expensive plan. Meaning, many consumers will be eligible for higher tax credit amounts to help cover their Marketplace health plan premiums.
The 56-year-old San Mateo County resident purchased health insurance through Covered California in 2020 and 2021. The estimated income was $45,000. In 2020, after the Covered California subsidy, the individual paid $109.98 per month for the Kaiser Silver 70 plan. In 2021, the Kaiser Silver plan jumped to $285.71, a 160 percent increase over the prior year.