New California State Insurance Subsidy
It’s that time of year! As soon as October closes out and Halloween is over, Open Enrollment 2020 begins on November 1, 2019. Health insurance is important, but costs continue to rise. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) purports to make healthcare accessible to all and subsidies supplement the costs. It can be a confusing process, but here is what you need to know about subsidies and Covered California in 2020.
The Affordable Care Act provides federal subsidies for families who pay a high percentage of their income toward health insurance premiums. A subsidy is money granted by the state or federal government that is distributed in order to keep prices competitive and low. In California, a law was recently passed to help individuals and families bear the burden of health insurance costs. Dubbed California State Premium Assistance, the plan addresses the federal subsidy cliff, which is the point at which the federal subsidy ends and can result in a huge hit to the pocketbook in excess of $10,000 a year.
The Affordable Care Act Subsidy
The ACA subsidy is for people who make between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), and there are two types of federal subsidies: a premium tax credit subsidy and a cost subsidy. The former goes toward your monthly premium amount, and the latter goes toward things like your deductible and other expenses. It is possible to qualify for both subsidies depending on your income level. However, if you make one dollar more than 400 percent of the FPL, then you are no eligible for any federal subsidy, which can significantly impact your finances if you were previously eligible.
California State Premium Assistance
California’s new legislation is effective for three years beginning in 2020, and it will help supplement the federal subsidy and avoid the cliff. The state subsidy will extend the subsidy ceiling to those earning up to 600 percent of the FPL. The 2020 Covered California income limits are captured here:
The California state subsidy ranges from 9.68-18 percent of your income if you fall between 400-600 percent of the federal poverty level and don’t qualify for the federal supplement. Further, it provides coverage for those earning less than 400 percent FPL in addition to any federal subsidy received. Covered California provides a gradual subsidy transition to even out the sharp cliff of the federal one. For more information on how you can benefit from the California State Premium Assistance program and see if you qualify, give us a call.