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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.

Household Size with College Student?

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Question: My son is away at college in New York. I claim him as a dependent on my taxes. He also earns enough to file his own tax return. I would like to purchase a policy for the two of us with subsidies through CoveredCA. Can I do that? Do we report our incomes separately?

Answer: Think of your household as everyone in your tax family. Your son at college in New York, whom you do claim on your taxes, is considered part of your household. And if that son happens to hold down a part-time job while attending school and earns enough money to file a tax return, you’ll need to include his earnings as part of your total household income. So you can purchase a policy for the two of you through Covered California. Your eligibility for premium assistance and cost savings reductions will depend on your aggregate income for a household of two.

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I have 4 families in that situation and every time I check off that the kid files a tax return, even though I also check off that they are claimed as a dependent, Covered CA puts him/her on MediCal and won’t let him get tax credits. When I call them (I’ve called three times about this) I’m told there can only be ONE tax filer per application. I’d love a work around for this because it is not how I understood the law. Any advice? Anyone I can complain to? These 4 client families all had to go outside the exchange and buy health insurance on their kid. They got the credit for having a kid in the count of family members but couldn’t get him regular insurance.

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