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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.

Opted Out of Group. Can I Apply with CC?

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Question: What do I do if I’ve never accepted my employer’s health insurance and now I want to enroll for 2014 but the open enrollment period isn’t until July of 2014.

Answer: Interesting question! Since you do not have access to employer-based coverage at this point in time and you decided to opt-out of your group coverage before the ACA mandate was fully implemented, I believe that you can apply for Covered California coverage, answering “None of the above” to the question about access to other forms of minimum essential coverage. But remember, to be in compliance with the ACA, you have to accept your employer’s coverage at your company’s next open enrollment period and drop your Covered California coverage at that time.

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You have transitional relief from the individual mandate until your group renewal next year. That means you will not be subject to a tax penalty as long as you enroll in the group plan during the 2014 open enrollment. You might want to ask your employer if they will offer a special open enrollment to allow you to come on the group plan effective 1/1/14. We have some large group clients whose plan year does not run on the calendar year. The groups requested that they be allowed to offer a special open enrollment to let employees come on the plan 1/1/14 and the carriers agreed.

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