Covered California and ACA related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the ACA and Covered California knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

How does the tax credit work?

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Question: If the subsidy is really an “advanced tax credit” how does a low income person (no income tax paid) pay the premiums? From your site: Estimated monthly silver plan premium (without subsidy) $1,369. Estimated tax credit from the government $1,280 Your estimated monthly silver plan premium $89. I cannot pay $1,369 and I am on early Social Security so I do not pay income taxes. Please help! Several of my friends are in the same situation and we all think we have to pay a penalty for no insurance and wait until we turn 65 for Medicare.

Answer: You will only pay the net premium after the “tax credit” which is $89 per month. Furthermore, the IRS only recovers tax credits that have been overpaid. In your case there would not have been an overpayment (that is, a person received more tax credit than their income justified) so in your case no tax would be due, Hope this helps you to sleep better.

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Certification training for brokers will not be available until August 2013, but that is no reason that California agents should not ne well enough informed about the ACA and Covered California to answer many of the questions and concerns you may have. I invite you to use the CAHBA Find-a-Pro at http://www.cahba.com/find-a-pro/ to find a professional agent near you.

I have asked brokers how can they help me? Most responses are not till we are trained in COVCA can we offer information to our clients. When will brokers start getting the training and certification to help the public?

Paying only the net amount sounds great As a follow up, how will a subsidy apply in the first few months when tax returns may not be filed until April 15, 2014?

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