It’s a slow day at the office when I review Medi-Cal eligibility guidance letters to County Welfare Directors. But in a letter discussing clarifications regarding countable sources of income for Medi-Cal, Bribes was listed as income that should be included in the household earnings. Right there on page 3 of the MAGI Income And Deduction Types published by Medi-Cal, between the Americorp Vista Stipend and Education Award and Bartering is listed Bribes. But you are only supposed to include the taxable portion according to the document.
Report Your Bribes For Medi-Cal Eligibility
If Bribes are a legitimate source of income for Medi-Cal why not for Covered California I thought? When I checked the 2016 Covered California Countable Sources of Income table, Bribes was suspiciously missing from the list. Why is Covered California hiding this significant source of income for many politicians from their consumers?
Note that the Medi-Cal income table lists Bribes as a countable source of income in the APTC/CSR column. Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) and Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR) are what Covered California administers under the Affordable Care Act. Medi-Cal is saying that Covered California will consider bribes as income, but Covered California has conveniently left that row blank on their income table.
IRS Publication 525 states,
Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.
It’s interesting to note that Bribes is listed just above Campaign Contributions under Other Income of the publication, which, as we all know, is another form of bribery, albeit legal bribery.
The whole point of the guidance letter was to clarify that certain AmeriCorp stipends are not counted as income for Medi-Cal. However, taxable portions from Distributions from the Alaska Native corporations and settlement trusts are considered income. Also, don’t forget to include money from your Pulitzer or Noble awards as those are considered countable sources of income for Medi-Cal eligibility.
The Medi-Cal Income Table Tool states, “Remember, you do not have to file taxes to apply for Medi-Cal. The chart lists IRS forms next to some types of income just as a guide.” But, if your Bribe income is too high, and it makes you ineligible for MAGI Medi-Cal, you’ll have to go through Covered California to get your health insurance. Covered California may ask you to verify your income from bribes paid to you. So make sure you keep good records and notes of all the money the lobbyists pay to you to pass those sweetheart tax breaks for large corporations.