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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.


November 2018 Archives


Married Filing Separately?

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Question: I'm recently married and will be filing married/separate tax returns for 2019 tax year as he owes the IRS. However when applying to renew my covered cal insurance it states I must file married jointly. I've had covered cal insurance since it was offered and received the tax credit towards my premium and filed and paid taxes every year.

Answer: You will be ineligible for premium assistance if you're married and file separately, no exceptions.


Question: I am a small employer (two employees) who earn less than 50,000 per year. I am looking into covered ca small business plans. My quotes are coming in at 2500-3500 per mo. I can't afford to pay that amount. They mention possible tax credits to help offset costs. Would the credits reduce my monthly premium, or be assessed at the end of the year?

Answer: You would have to pay the entire monthly premium before earning the credit of up to 50% for two years. You claim the credit on the employer's annual income tax return, with a Form 8941, "Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums", showing the calculation of the credit.


Question: How much can you have in IRA's or savings accounts to be eligible for Covered CA tax credit?

Answer: Your assets, whether savings, retirement accounts, or real estate do not affect your eligibility for premium assistance. Covered California considers only your adjusted gross income (AGI).


Question: I sponsored my 84 years old mother when she got her green card a year ago. She is getting health coverage through Covered California, with a subsidy (as her annual income is around 35k). Can the government or state at some point ask me to repay that money? Is this a "means-tested public benefit"? Thanks

Answer: You will not be asked to repay your mother's benefits because you sponsored her green card application. Covered California (Affordable Care Act) premium assistance benefits are not considered means tested benefits.


Question: My 38 year old son lives with us and has zero income. We cover him 100%. He has medical insurance through Covered California (Medi-Cal) and he pays no premium and almost never any fees. Should I claim him as a dependent or will my liability for his medical cost me more than I save.

​Answer: Covered California requires him to file a tax return even if his income is $0. He needs to claim zero dependents on his return. If so, you can claim him as a dependent on your return without affecting his ​health insurance eligibility through Covered California.


Question: My dependent daughter goes to college out of state. How would coverage for her work?

Answer: If she's covered under your family health insurance policy, he will have out-of-network coverage while out of state. That means a lot more out-of-pocket costs for her routine medical expenses compared to in-network coverage at home. Ideally, she would enroll in the student health insurance coverage offered by her school. That way she get's routine care at school for low or no out-of-pocket expense and major medical coverage under your plan.

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