California Expands Income Levels For Covered California Subsidies
Since the inception of the ACA, subsidies for individual policyholders have been available up to 400% of the Federal Poverty level. For an individual, that was around $48,000 of annual income. For a family of four, that amount was around $100,000.
For individual (not employer) plans effective January 1st, 2020, the state of California has raised that limit to 600% of the Federal Poverty Level. That means that individuals with an income below $74,940 could be subsidy eligible. For a family of four, that level is raised all the way to $154,500! Subsidies are a function of affordability and in general, subsidies will be higher for older enrollees and smaller (or, even non-existent) for younger single enrollees.
What does this mean for you? It means that if you believe your 2020 income MIGHT fall into this range, you should make sure your application for individual coverage is placed through Covered California and NOT directly with the insurance carrier. This is because ONLY PLANS WRITTEN THROUGH COVERED CA are eligible for a subsidy.
Rates and plan information will be available October 15th, 2019 for plans with a January 1, 2020 effective date. In the meantime, sharpen your pencil and do your best to estimate your household’s 2020 income!