The confusion lies in the statement that the consumer is not eligible for the California Premium Subsidy. The California Premium Subsidy program is completely separate from the federal Premium Tax Credit subsidy. You can be eligible for the federal subsidy but not the State subsidy. If your income is over 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you are not eligible for the federal Premium Tax Credit subsidy, but you may be eligible for the State subsidy.
Posts on the development and implementation of the California health insurance market place, application, account, enrollment, termination.
As of November 2020, the only way to apply for an exemption through Covered California was to use an online application that utilizes DocuSign. For individuals who do not own a computer or do not have internet access, this could be challenge. I have not found any paper exemption applications on the Covered California website. That doesn’t mean they are not there or that they won’t be created later.
The only way you can ever receive the Premium Tax Credit subsidy to lower your health insurance premium, either on a monthly basis or when you file your federal or state tax return, is to enroll in a health plan through Covered California. The subsidy can be a form of income protection. In the event that the household has a sudden drop of income in the middle of the year, the Covered California application can be updated with the lower income amount and trigger the subsidy to lower the health insurance premium.
Upon renewing Covered California coverage or applying for new health insurance, new questions will pop up if your income is listed as alimony. Specifically, Covered California wants to know the date of the divorce or modification of the decree. This is all to determine if the specified alimony payments can be considered as income for the Covered California premium tax credit subsidies.
The federal ACA subsidy is more generous limiting the household health insurance responsibility for health insurance premiums to 9.8 percent of household income. While the California Premium Subsidy may add a few dollars of subsidy below 400 percent of the FPL, it is really focused at upper income households. The California subsidy limits the household responsibility to between 14 and 18 percent of the household income.
The ACA states that if a married couple apply for the premium tax credit subsidy through Covered California, they must agree to a Married Filing Joint federal tax return status. If you are the victim of domestic abuse or your spouse leaves you, there is little interest in working with that person to file taxes jointly.
The big unknown is how you will use health care services in the next year. If you historically visit a doctor for the occasional sports injury, allergies, or to have wax removed from your ears, even if you visit the doctor more than 3 times (the Bronze 60 limit), you may still be money ahead with the Bronze plan.
You use the Attestation of Income form after you have diligently reported your MAGI using the Covered California income section of the application. The most difficult part of the Covered California application is the income section. Take your time and make sure the entries are correct and ensure that the start and stop dates of the income streams are also correct.
Pay no attention to any reports of increasing or decreasing health insurance premiums for 2021 when it comes to subsidized Covered California enrollment. First, your rate will increase because you, and everybody in your household is another year older. Rates are based on age. Second, the subsidy is based on the Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan.
If Obamacare is repealed by the Supreme Court, California will step into the vacuum. It may not be pretty and I am sure there will be a new tax on something, but California will figure a way to continue with the health insurance subsidies through Covered California.