Prepare now for new state individual health care mandate
Updated October 18, 2019
The State of California is working to reduce the number of uninsured families with the adoption of a new state individual health care mandate.
Here are three things California residents need to know:
1. Make sure you have health coverage
The mandate, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, requires Californians to have qualifying health insurance coverage throughout the year.
Many people already have qualifying health insurance coverage, including employer-sponsored plans, coverage purchased through Covered California or directly from insurers, Medicare, and most Medicaid plans.
Under the new mandate, those who fail to maintain qualifying health insurance coverage could face a financial penalty unless they qualify for an exemption.
Generally speaking, a taxpayer who fails to secure coverage will be subject to a penalty of $695 when they file their 2020 state income tax return in 2021. The penalty for a dependent child is half of what it would be for an adult.
The penalty is based on your state income and the number of people in your household.
|Household Size||If You Make Less Than||You May Pay|
|Family of 4||$140,200||$2,085|
To avoid a penalty, California residents need to have qualifying health insurance for themselves, their spouse or domestic partner, and their dependents for each month beginning on January 1, 2020.
The open enrollment period to sign up for health care coverage through Covered California is scheduled for October 15, 2019 through January 31, 2020.
2. Exemptions available
There are exemptions to the penalty, and families will not have to pay a penalty if the cost of their health care coverage exceeds a certain percentage of their income.
Most exemptions from the mandate will be claimed when filing 2020 state income tax returns in early 2021. Additional exemptions from the mandate will be granted through Covered California beginning in January 2020.
|Exemptions Claimed on State Tax Return||Exemptions Processed by Covered California|
Visit Covered California for more details.
3. Financial assistance available
To help Californians meet the requirement to have insurance coverage, the state will provide financial assistance to qualifying individuals and families, dependent on their household size and income, through Covered California. This new state financial assistance will be in addition to federal financial assistance some already receive through Covered California.
Options for no-and low-cost coverage are also available through the Medi-Cal program.
To find out more about health insurance options and financial assistance, visit CoveredCA.com.
We want to hear from employers, tax pros, tax software providers and insurers
The Franchise Tax Board and Covered California are working together to implement the new Minimum Essential Coverage Individual Mandate (also known as the state individual health care mandate).
Employers, tax professionals, software services providers (tax and payroll), payroll companies, and insurers are invited to attend a stakeholder meeting at Franchise Tax Board headquarters from 1:30-3:30 PM on Thursday, November 14. This meeting is intended to provide an overview of the new health care mandate and solicit feedback from stakeholders.
Franchise Tax Board
California Town Center
9646 Butterfield Way
Sacramento, CA 95827
In order to properly plan for the event, we kindly request you to confirm your attendance by emailing us at FTBHealthcare@ftb.ca.gov no later than Monday, November 4, 2019.
Our facility is architecturally accessible to persons with physical disabilities. If you have a disability and would like to request reasonable accommodation and/or material in alternate format, please make your request as soon as possible, but no later than five working days prior to the date of the event. Some alternate formats take longer to produce than others. Therefore, the earlier your request is received, the more likely we can provide the specific alternate format you request.
To place your request, contact FTB’s Accessibility Coordinator:
- Voice: (916) 845-7003
- California Relay Service: 711 or (800) 735-2929
For more information about the stakeholder meeting, as well as to submit questions in advance, email: FTBHealthcare@ftb.ca.gov.