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.
Household Income Levels
Posts related to eligibility for health care programs based on household income such as Covered California, Medi-Cal, Medicare usually based on federal poverty levels.
ABLE account beneficiaries can contribute their own income or property to their ABLE account. A beneficiary may transfer countable property to their ABLE account to spenddown excess property.
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 […]
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.
Covered California has developed a reprieve from immediate reporting to SAWS in the event of an error on the application that triggers Medi-Cal eligibility. The one-day delay in reporting the eligibility results to Medi-Cal is outlined in the CalHEERS 19.7 release scheduled to be implement on July 22, 2019.
The brochure also outlines the rights and responsibilities of the Medi-Cal beneficiary. Eligibility determinations, either enrollment or termination, can be appealed. myMedi-Cal discusses the time periods for the appeals and the right to a State Fair Hearing.
The Special Enrollment Period, Qualifying Life Events, and changes to income are VERY date sensitive. It can also be a little confusing in terms of what dates to use. If you don’t enter the correct dates, such as when income stopped or started, the application process can go sideways and you might be determined eligible for Medi-Cal. When in doubt, call your agent or the Covered California customer service line to determine the correct dates for your qualifying life event.
The benchmark 100% federal poverty level income for a single adult increased 3% from $12,140 in 2018 to $12,490 for 2019. The all important Covered California premium tax credit eligibility income (138% of the FPL) for a single adult increased from $16,754 for 2018 to $17,237 in 2019. This means a single adult now has to have an annual Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of $17,237 to be eligible for Covered California if they apply for health insurance in 2019.
You must apply for the Medicare Savings Program through your local Medi-Cal county office. You apply for the Social Security Extra Help program directly with Social Security. If you are determined eligible for the Medicare Savings Program you will be considered a Dual Eligible: eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal. Your eligibility can change throughout the year based on income but is usually re-evaluated on a yearly basis. Whenever you eligibility changes, you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to change or enter into different Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.