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Covered California and Obamacare 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 Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Group Plan Dependents Free to Buy in the Exchange?

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Question: On the new coveredCA under the (SHOP FAQ) question…What if my employees want families covered too? They indicate that when buying group through the exchange that the dependants can apply separtely as individuals if the boss is not including them in the group plan. I thought that if the business offered group the dependants would have to say yes to the question..Does your employer offer group coverage?? I am confused.

Answer: Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Here’s the quote on coveredca.com, “Under the new insurance rules that take effect in 2014, your employees and their family members who do not have coverage through your business will be able to buy insurance through Covered California or in the individual market.” This statement is accurate as far as it goes. The spouse and dependents can buy individual insurance in the Exchange, however they would NOT qualify for a subsidy, even if otherwise eligible, unless the employer-sponsored coverage was deemed unaffordable for the family. See also: Bad News for Families with Modest Incomes

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