The seventh year of Covered California looks to be one with big changes.
Most of these changes are specific to California where the State enacted it's own expansion of original ACA law.
We'll cover the highlights so you can make the best decision as well as look at some of the basis to nagivate the Open Enrollment process (can be tricky).
We'll look at these topics:
Let's get started!
The biggest change for 2020 deals with the tax credit.
There's a state-sponsored expansion of the tax credit in two ways.
Let's look at each of these two.
The biggest issue we've had since 2014 is the drop-off.
Especially in California.
The "F" in FPL (Federal Poverty Level) is a nationwide standard.
Let's just assume that it costs more to live in California than Iowa.
Don't even mention LA or SF!
For that reason, income levels are much higher on average than in other States.
$47K is might be fine for a cutoff in Nevada but it's not great in California.
This disproportionately hit Californians hard.
Many more Californians will now qualify for a tax credit.
We really see this impact for older people where just being under the wire can result in 100's of dollars a month!
Over the limit...nothing.
We see this all the time.
So...this expansion on the top income threshold is big deal.
Many people already enrolled may suddenly have a tax credit and many people not enrolled due to cost may find it now makes sense.
You can run your 2020 quote with the next tax credit starting 10/15 here:
Now, the second piece.
Let's say you qualify for a tax credit now at $24K income estimate.
This SHOULD result in a lower monthly premium.
There may be situations (based on area, carrier, plan level, age, etc) where that doesn't happen.
You really have to run the quote here to see how it all settles out.
In theory, everyone eligible for a tax credit should get more of one in 2020 comparing apples and apples.
As we get into the quoting and rates, we'll see how that pans out but it should mean less out of pocket costs.
Interestingly, the other income caps such as medi-cal, CHIP, and enhanced Silver plans are the same.
This extra tax credit is on top of the ACA law will apply federally and will supposedly be paid for with a new State-based tax penalty for not having health insurance.
Let's look at that piece now.
The Federal ACA tax penalty went away in 2019.
This penalty is listed as the greater of:
Max penalty is $2100.
There's a stipulation that this penalty may not apply if the cost of health insurance exceeds a certain percentage of income.
We can help with that calculation here.
As Certified Covered Ca agents, there's ZERO cost for our assistance.
Since these numbers mirror the old Federal ACA penalty, we're curious to see if it's similar in other aspects:
We'll see but we expect this patterned after the Federal rules.
Next up, Open Enrollment for 2020.
So...when can we enroll and what are the rules for effective dates?
There's a chance that the State will expand the back-end of the open enrollment so check with us to see if it's been expanded.
One note...the earliest effective date available will be 1/1 even if we enroll 10/15.
The main qualifying events that allows us to get an earlier effective date is one of the following:
Loss of qualified coverage (involuntarily)
Those are the most common.
Check with us regarding your situation and possible qualifying.
The other qualifiers have the following rules:
If you don't have a qualifying event, 1/1 is the earliest date we can get (outside of medi-cal which is year around) but we have to enroll by 12/15.
If you enroll on the 1/15th, you would get 3/1 (outside of loss of coverage).
It's all very confusing!
Get help for free! We're licensed Covered Ca agents and we can help with of and off-exchange enrollment.
We have a simplified 2020 Covered Ca application available here.
The 2020 California health market is pretty stable.
They pulled out of the southern 2/3rds of the State Jan of 2019.
You can check the full range of carriers and options here:
One note...the plans are standardized so a Silver plan will resemble another Silver plan from a different carrier.
The networks can be different of course as are the drug formularies (list of covered medications).
You can see both through the link quote above for any given plan or carrier.
How can you apply for a given plan?
Good news there!
This is probably our biggest strength as Certified Covered Ca agents.
We put a great deal of time into creating a simplified online application available here:
Here's the process.
We get the application securely and then go through to make sure there's nothing that will mess up the enrollment.
It's incredibly confusing!
Let us guide you through this process especially regarding:
Again, there's no cost for our assistance at Certified Covered Ca agents.
This can be tricky.
If we're past open enrollment (initially 1/15 cut off)
We don't qualify for a special enrollment trigger
We're not eligible for a medi-cal…
We may not be able to enroll in an ACA plan either on-exchange or off-exchange (direct with the carrier).
You can quote and enroll in those plans here:
Again, check with us first and we'll see what you're eligible for.
We're here to help!
Again, there is absolutely no cost to you for our services. Call 800-320-6269 Today!
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We are licensed Covered Ca agents with in-depth knowledge of their plans, process, and tax credits.
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