Covered California Enrollment Grows to 1.5 Million
Covered California Enrollment Grows to 1.5 MillionFebruary 24, 2020
After instituting two key policies designed to help and encourage more people to become insured, Covered California enrollment grew 1.6% to 1,538,819 members during the most recent open enrollment period that ended January 31.
New State Policies and Effective Outreach Drive New Enrollment
- Effective January 2020, the California Individual Mandate required residents to have health insurance coverage — reinstating the federal penalty that was integral to the Affordable Care Act. Those who can afford coverage but choose to go without it could face a penalty when they file their taxes with the California Franchise Tax Board in 2021. The penalty can be more than $2,000 for a family of four.
- California launched a state subsidy program that expanded the amount of financial help available to many consumers, including a first-in-the-nation program to help middle-income consumers afford coverage. The new state subsidies could extend to an individual making up to $74,940 and a family of four with a household income of up to $154,500.
- California extended its open-enrollment period through January 31, compared to January 15 last year — in contrast to the federal open enrollment close on December 15.
New Special-Enrollment Period Announced
For those who were unaware of the state penalty or the new financial help, Covered California announced it will establish a new special-enrollment period through April 30 to give residents more time to sign up for coverage. During this special-enrollment period, consumers will be able to sign up at any point and will be covered on the first of the following month.
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