Is Providing Health Insurance Mandatory in California?

Here are the facts about the individual mandate and its impact on you and your family.

It’s not just a good idea to have health insurance. If you live in California it is a law. In fact, 2020 is the first year Californians have to have insurance. The individual mandate is also known as this law. It means that everyone in California must have health insurance. This is what you need to know about the individual mandate. It can also help you to understand how it can be beneficial to you.

Understanding the Health Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) passed in 2010 with the mission of making health care more accessible nationwide. His act had two main points. Preexisting conditions no longer allowed people to be denied insurance or charge more for it. A federal mandate was created, which required that health insurance be purchased for specific conditions. Both of these aspects were interrelated. The system was designed to ensure that everyone, young and old alike, is enrolled in the system. This allowed the sickest members to receive care without the need for premiums. The law was in effect from 2014 and anyone who chose not to be insured would face a tax penalty.

This was true until 2019, when the tax penalty was lifted via the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act1. In 2019, many people could opt out of their health insurance without having to pay a federal penalty. Without a federal mandate, the cost of health insurance was on track to rise.

California’s Individual Mandate is Now Available

Governor Gavin Newsom, along with others, argued that California should create its own state mandate. This logic was identical to the federal individual mandate. The lower everyone has health insurance, the more affordable it is. This reduces the amount of uninsured treatment all residents end up paying for. If people without insurance visit the emergency room, and are unable to pay the bill for treatment, the costs can rise and the taxpayers may have to contribute to cover the difference.

The individual mandate was approved by state legislators in June 2019. Newsom signed it into law on July. It will take effect in January 2020. To make it more affordable for people to have health insurance, legislators also extended financial assistance.

Californians Get More Financial Assistance

California was the first state to provide financial assistance for health insurance in 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, the American Rescue Plan provided $3B in additional financial help (in tax credits) to Californians in 2021. This helped to make it more affordable for everyone. Residents with different income levels can now get help.

You can earn up to $76,560 per person or $157,000. If you have four children, you will still be eligible for money to lower your premiums. You may still be eligible for financial assistance even if your income is higher than this. One of our plans will not cost you more than 8.5%.

Are you unsure if this is for you? Almost nine out of 10 Californians who enroll qualify for financial help. Use this interactive calculator to see if you might be one of them. Remember: The only way to apply for financial help is to apply through Covered California.

What does this all mean for me?

Californians must have health insurance or they will be penalized for not filing their state tax returns. What is the penalty? How much?

Keeping your health covered promotes wellness. It helps you to identify potential health problems early and protects you, your family, and you from any unexpected medical expenses. There are many reasons you should have health insurance. One reason to have health insurance is the individual mandate.