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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.

Political Asylum Pending Status?

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Question: I am here on a political asylum and my status to be approved for political asylum is still pending, however, I do have a work permit and a Social Security number. By law, do I have to purchase health insurance under my current status?

Answer: The rule on pending asylees is as follows, "Applicants for asylum are eligible for Marketplace coverage only if they've been granted employment authorization or are under the age of 14 and have had an application pending for at least 180 days." That includes your situation, but your question was "do I have to purchase health insurance?". Yes. You have to purchase minimum acceptable coverage or pay a penalty. That's because you have the right to work in this country. As a taxpayer, you are eligible for subsidized health insurance coverage. With the eligibility for taxpayer benefits comes responsibility to insure yourself so as not to be a burden on other taxpayers.

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I think it is worth adding that a person with “lawful presence” in the USA is exempt from the penalty if he/she does not exceed the minimum tax filing threshold or if minimum essential coverage is unaffordable.

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