Question: I’m shopping for an insurance plan after not being covered for a number of years. The years I had Covered California subsidized insurance I had to pay back the entire amount they subsidized. My concern is whether this will happen to me again come tax season, and what’s the point of seeking financial assistance if I will just have to pay it back in a year.
Answer: Things have changed in California for 2020, namely there’s a penalty for not being insured and subsidies are available for higher income households. Only those taxpayers whose actual AGI exceeds the top eligibility limits (600% of Federal Poverty Level) will have to pay back the entire amount of premium advanced. It’s always better to take the money and give some of it back, than not take it at all. Consider it an interest-free loan.