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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.

Report Income Change?

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Question: I estimated my 2014 income to be about $35,000. My 2013 income was $33,070. Due to a lay off of one of my jobs, it looks like I will make about $30,00 for 2014 if I don't find another part time job. I am being subsidized from the state for my Anthem Blue cross. If I don't make the money I estimated on, will I get a refund from the California Exchange if I don't have an adjustment made now? Or do they apply it to the next years premiums? (still looking for another part time job)

Answer: The IRS will reconcile the advance premium tax credits (subsidy) you have received for the year on your 2014 tax return. In your case, there is no need to report a change in income at this point as the difference between estimated income and actual income is not very great. In cases where the taxpayer's income increases greatly during the year, reporting the change to Covered California will prevent a big tax bill come tax time. If income decreases significantly, reporting the change immediately may greatly reduce your net premium for the rest of the year.


The “Household Primary Contact” page of the online application for CoveredCA has recently been changed to include a new “attestation” at the top of the page, which is now a required field in new applications: “I attest that I have visually verified this person’s identity” (check Yes or No). For those of us who complete applications for persons over the phone, having never met them before, you simply check “No” and proceed as before.

Many months ago, however, this same page was modified to include a space to fill in the Social Security Number of the primary contact, which is NOT a required field.

Normally, I bypass this field. However, in reviewing a client’s enrollment application, I discovered that I had, inadvertently, filled in that block, and now see that IT IS NOT ENCRYPTED!! (Compare this with the SSN fields on the subsequent pages for individuals being enrolled.)

Personally, I don’t want to be exposed to the liability for this if the website is ever hacked—it surely will be some day—and will make a more conscious effort in the future to skip past this field on every app.

CoveredCA needs to correct that.

Covered California now using private company Experian to pull a consumer report to verify ID upon Covered California application. Same for current Covered California member who makes changes to their existing Covered California account when health plan changes are made.

Covered California calls it the “Federal Data Services Hub Remote ID Proofing Service.” The remote part is the use of Experian.

A little bit off topic, but I wanted to post this where people will see it — new releases from the IRS:

Revenue Procedure 2014-37 provides the methodology to determine the applicable percentage table in § 36B(b)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code used to calculate an individual’s premium assistance credit amount for taxable years beginning after calendar year 2014 Link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-37.pdf

Revenue Procedure 2014-41 provides calculation methods a taxpayer may use to resolve the interrelationship between the section 162(l) (self employed health insurance) deduction and the premium tax credit under section 36B. Link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-41.pdf

Revenue Procedure 2014-46 provides the 2014 monthly national average premium for qualified health plans that have a bronze level of coverage for taxpayers to use in determining their maximum individual shared responsibility payment under § 5000A(c)(1)(B) Link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-46.pdf

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