Open Enrollment 2020 Is Here
Though the federal government repealed the health insurance mandate penalty via the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Covered California plans to restore it in 2020. This is just one of many reasons individuals should not miss open enrollment, which is, once again, upon us.
When Is Open Enrollment 2020?
Open enrollment begins on October 15 and ends on either December 15, 2019 or January 15, 2020. Benefits are effective by January 1 for those who register for coverage by December 15, and February 1 for those who enroll by January 15. Those who miss the final deadline will pay a penalty on their state tax return.
What Is the Individual Mandate Penalty?
California's individual mandate for those who choose to forego coverage mirrors that set by Obamacare in 2014. The penalty is $695 per uninsured adult in a household, $347.50 for each uninsured child or 2.5% of taxpayers' annual household income, whichever is greater. Depending on the number of people living in a household, and depending on the household's income, uninsured individuals can be looking at paying thousands of dollars in penalties each year.
The state plans to use the revenue from the penalties to help pay for tax credits for the those who plan to purchase health insurance through Covered California's site. Gov. Gavin Newsome also plans to put $1.45 billion toward credits over the next three years.
Who Qualifies for Subsidies?
To qualify for financial aid for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, your household income must be at least 100%, but no more than 400%, of the federal poverty line for a family of your size. California, however, will be the first state to offer its own form of financial aid. Not only that, but it expands the group to which it will offer subsidies to middle income enrollees.
Under Covered California, households with income between 400% and 600% of the federal poverty level may qualify for assistance. Many of these middle-class households have struggled to afford coverage in the past but, thanks to the new initiatives, more than a quarter of a million will now receive the help they so desperately need and deserve.
In addition to helping middle-class families afford health coverage, the state subsidy will also benefit lower-income earners. Those who earn between 200% and 400% of the federal poverty line qualify for state credits in addition to federal subsidies.
What Else Do You Need To Know About Open Enrollment 2020?
During the open enrollment period, you will be shown options from at least two of the 11 major carriers, including Anthem Blue Cross. During this period, you can purchase a plan, change your existing plan or enroll in Medi-Cal. If you miss the open enrollment period, you will not be able to sign up for health care for the rest of the year unless one of the following occurs:
Selecting the appropriate coverage for yourself and, if applicable, your loved ones, can be a daunting task. For guidance during the upcoming enrollment period, consult with a Certified Covered California Agent, such as the ones here at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services. Contact us today to learn more.