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Covered California Q&A

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.

No Dependent Coverage Offered

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Question: I work for a small company that offers affordable health insurance for me, but does not offer any dependent coverage at all. My spouse is unemployed. Can my kids/wife qualify for a subsidy on the exchange?

Answer: To my knowledge, Covered California has not addressed this issue directly. But according to a recent IRS ruling, your dependents will not be eligible for subsidies in the exchange if they have “access” to employer-sponsored coverage. If your employer excludes spouse and dependent coverage then your spouse and dependents can be eligible for subsidized Covered California Coverage. But if spouse and dependent coverage is available even though the employer makes no contribution they will not be eligible for subsidized coverage. In that case, you would better off if your employer dropped the group plan. If I were you, I would talk to your employer about poling the other employees to see how many would similarly benefit.


If my employer offers affordable Healthcare to me; pays for employees but not dependents can my dependents qualify for Medical through Covered CA if my household income qualifies?

Older people used to use the same tactic to qualify for more Social Security and other benefits.
The other question is why can’t the state of California provide these answers and a place where we can ask them and expect a reply like you do here? Seems like Barbara Boxer should have read all the pages by now and be able to tell us the answers she was sure were in the document to begin with.

I’m in the same situation. My wife and I have considered divorcing, so that she can then qualify for the subsidy or Medical. But that seems like a radical solution we would like to avoid.

Only employers with 50 or more employees are subject to fines.

If the employer drops group coverage, won’t they then be subject to fines?

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