The women who called me were appropriately irked that the change to their husbands being the primary applicant conveyed a perception that they were not qualified to be the primary account holder for the management of their health insurance plans.
Covered California Application
Posts related to the Covered California application, consumer account, estimating income, household size, monthly subsidies, health plans, Medi-Cal, and terminations.
As many people enrolled in Covered California have found out, the folks at Covered California will not talk about taxes. Most consumers have also learned the dirty little secret about the federal and state subsidies for health insurance; it’s all about your tax return. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the California Franchises Tax Board (FTB) don’t care how you estimated your income to Covered California to become eligible for the monthly subsidies. They only care about the final income number (MAGI) that entitles you to a subsidy.
Covered California has partnered with the Franchise Tax Board to produce a 2020 Individual Mandate Penalty Fact Sheet that includes how to calculate a potential penalty.
I share Covered California’s concern that health care sharing ministry programs are a mine field waiting for someone running from ridiculously high health insurance premiums to step on and have the bomb explode. However, I disagree with Covered California’s proposed use of certified agents to be their foil to limit the enrollment in these products. Agents are not the jailers charged with keeping the citizens within the health insurance pool.
California’s individual mandate penalty will require residents to prove they either had minimum essential coverage during the year, have a valid exemption, or pay a penalty. The penalty will be the greater of $695 per adult ($347 per child) OR 2.5% of the household income. The verification of creditable minimum essential coverage and/or the ultimate penalty will be reconciled when residents file their state income tax returns with the Franchise Tax Board.
Will I be able to keep my current health plan? If you have a health plan bought directly from a health insurance company – also known as off-exchange – you might be able to enroll in the same plan. Not all health plans offered direct to consumers off-exchange are available through Covered California. For example, if you have a Kaiser Silver HDHP HSA compatible plan, it is not offered through Covered California. You would need to select one of the plans Covered California offers in order to get the subsidy.
The Covered California Premium Subsidy for health insurance is in addition to any federal ACA subsidy. It is also available for households who don’t qualify for the federal subsidy such as incomes over 400% of the federal poverty level. The subsidy estimator is an online tool to determine if your household might qualify for the […]
When the Covered California system is in the renewal mode, changes to your household will affect enrollment and subsidies for 2020. If you need to make changes for 2019, you will want to go through the Report A Change function on the home page.
For the California Premium Subsidy, you will reconcile that subsidy amount with the Franchise Tax Board when you file your state income tax return. And this is where it gets complicated and a potential headache for tax prepares. If your income is between 200% and 400% of the FPL you potentially could be receiving 2 subsidies, one from the feds and one from the state. If you earn over 400% of the FPL you will only get a subsidy from California.
I was surprised by the 60% increase in the Silver 70 medical deductible from $2,500 in 2019, to $4,000 in 2020. The Silver 73 plan increased 68% from $2,200 to $3,700 and the Silver 87 went from $650 to $1,400 – a 115% increase.