Question: Can I opt out of the subsidy even if I qualify now or later? If I did, would I still have to prove income, report changes, etc. Does covered california provide such an option?
Answer: There are a number of ways to apply through Covered California and opt out of premium assistance. (1) The very first question on the Covered California online application is: "Do you want to see if you qualify for free or low-cost Medi-Cal or tax credits with Covered CA?". If you respond "No" to this question, your income will not be considered and you will be ineligible for premium assistance. (2) If you respond "Yes" to this question, you can receive premium assistance if your income drops below the 400% FPL threshold. Most people should take this option, because they retain the option to receive premium assistance should your income drop. If you don't want to deal with having to repay premium assistance, report income changes, provide proof of income etc., here's what I recommend. When applying you can select and Annual Premium Assistance as opposed to the default, "Monthly Premium Assistance". The annual premium assistance option will credit any premium assistance due for the year on your tax return. That way you are not leaving any potential benefits on the table while minimizing income fluctuation reporting hassles.