Healthcare Reform Information
Health care reform & Covered California
The health care reform, or Obama care, was signed into law in 2010, enrollment began October 1, 2013 with policy benefits starting on January 1st, 2014. Every state operates differently, some are run by a federal program and others are run by the state itself. The reform was designed to make insurance affordable for all and eliminate pre-existing condition declination.
California chose to create a program run by the state to offer insurance for residents, naming it Covered California.
What you should know about Covered California & the health care reform.
- Open enrollment: There is a specific period of time in the year anyone can apply for health insurance, that is from November 1st to January 31st. There are strict requirements to be met for anyone who wishes to apply for insurance outside of these dates, that goes for insurance through Covered California and directly with the carriers.
- Special Enrollment: In order to apply for coverage outside of the open enrollment period you must have a life qualifying event. These are events such as; losing your current health insurance, moving into California permanently, drastic income changes, turning 26 years old and are no longer eligible for your parent’s plan.
- Subsidy: Subsidy is an amount of tax credit the government will give based on your income.
- Tax Penalty: A tax penalty can occur in situations such as;
- The amount of income you estimated in your application not matching what you file on your taxes.
- Being on Medi-cal because of the amount of income you estimated in your application, then filing your taxes reporting a much higher income making you ineligible for Medi-cal.
- Estimating more income in your application to avoid Medi-cal and filing your taxes showing you should have been on Medi-cal, all subsidy amount given to you for the year will have to be paid back to the government.
These are just a few key words and examples that should be minded while applying for insurance. It can be a very confusing process to endure when it’s all new to you. Our office handles Covered California applications every day, call us to help you in your health care journey.