The Affordable Care Act penalty has been reversed federally; however, effective January 1, 2020, California lawmakers have reinstated a state individual mandate requiring California residents to purchase a qualifying health insurance (Covered California, private insurance or members of a healthcare sharing ministry) or they will incur a penalty from FranchiseTax Board on their taxes.
To help lower-income individuals and families afford insurance, the government will pay a portion (subsidy) of the monthly insurance premium. The amount of the subsidy varies based on income and family size. Below are some examples. Keep in mind that once incomes reaches four times the poverty level, the subsidy disappears, as follows:
FAMILY OF 3
FAMILY OF 4
FAMILY OF 5
For individuals who qualify for a subsidy, the federal government created healthcare exchanges where individuals can shop for and purchase insurance. There are four categories of insurance coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each category differs in terms of monthly premium, deductibles, and copays. A Bronze Plan has the lowest monthly premium, but the highest deductible and copays. Platinum has the highest premiums, but lowest deductibles and copays. California’s healthcare exchange is www.coveredca.com. You can log on, enter your annual gross income, family size and ages, and view the plans available for you. Each plan shows your monthly premium costs and corresponding benefits, copays and deductibles. Higher incomes result in lower subsidies and higher premium costs.