342,000 newbies for Covered Cal

About 342,000 new consumers have signed up for health insurance via Covered California as of Jan. 21. The state Obamacare operation said the pace of new sign-ups for the 2018 open enrollment period is running well ahead of last year, despite the political uncertainty about federal health-care policy. More than 1.2 million current Covered California customers have renewed for the year. Open enrollment continues through Jan. ... (More)

Tax-credit jeopardy for 24,000

An error by Covered California has left about 24,000 policy holders at risk of losing their federal tax credits in January if they don't give the state health insurance exchange permission to verify their income. Covered California is engaged in a last-minute scramble to reach those individuals and families before the end of the month, spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez said. For policy holders who don't give the agency their consent by ... (More)

2 more days for Obamacare signup

The window for health care coverage to begin Jan. 1 has been extended by two days, to Dec. 17, Covered California announced. The move came Tuesday night, almost immediately after the federal Obamacare website announced its own extension. Covered California said agents still were "processing thousands of applications" as the Dec. 15 deadline loomed. Consumers also were complaining about failed access to the Covered California web ... (More)

Average $969 penalty in 2016

The penalty for failing to have health insurance is going up, perhaps even higher than you expected. Among uninsured individuals who are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act penalty, the average household fine for not having insurance in 2015 will be $661, rising to $969 per household in 2016, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Individuals will pay the penalty when they complete their federal taxes the following ... (More)

7.5 mil paid fine for no coverage

About 7.5 million Americans paid an average penalty of $200 for not having health insurance in 2014 -- the first year most Americans were required to have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the IRS said Tuesday. By contrast, 76 percent of taxpayers checked a box indicating they had qualifying insurance coverage all year. Counting another 7 million dependents who were not required to report their coverage but also filed returns, ... (More)