Category Archives: Obamacare Tax

Leaving School: 2 Actions To Find Affordable Health Coverage

Time is of the essence in order to maintain or find affordable health insurance when leaving school.   You must take action fast or risk being “locked-out” of the health insurance market for several months, due to a little publicized defect in the Obamacare legislation. We suggest 2 actions to find affordable health coverage when leaving school, which have been made possible under the Affordable Care Act:

Need Temporary Health Insurance?   CLICK TO QUOTE

First, if you have not yet turned Age 26 and have been covered on your parent’s health plan, the Affordable Care Act  allows you to continue on through age of 25.  Is this your best option? Maybe, but there are two reasons to look at other options available through the Affordable Care Act:

  • Your parent’s health plan may have limited medical facilities e.g. Kaiser where you live, or
  • The monthly insurance rate may be lower through Covered California with a subsidy, if you qualify

Second, the following are two new options made available through the Affordable Care Act:

  1. Covered California provides access to most private health plans e.g. Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, HealthNet EPO and PPO plans and some regional providers as well (availability varies according to each of California’s counties- these folks will give you free assistance).

    Extra caution is advised, however:  You must complete and submit your application prior to the desired 1st of the month coverage start date to avoid a gap in coverage, plus a 60-Day time limit applies. Warning: failure to enroll within the special 60-day period will not only incur a possible IRS tax penalty, but will consequently lock you out of the U.S. health insurance market until the following open enrollment period i.e. January 1st! (This is a lesser known problem with the Affordable Care Act) Read more about your special enrollment qualifying event here;

  2. Apply Direct- to the insurance carrier (Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Cigna, HealthNet and others) is easier than going through Covered California and the prices are virtually identical under California law.

The only reason you would choose the Covered California exchange (above) over this 3rd option is if you were to qualify for a subsidy or Advance Premium Tax Credit. Otherwise, CoveredCA is not worth the hassle of providing personal tax forms, proof of California residency, employment information etc.

  • Deadlines: The same warning applies as above i.e. you must complete and submit your application prior to the desired 1st of the month coverage start date to avoid a gap in coverage; the 60 Day Limit also applies.

The easiest part of this process is choosing a plan, and the hardest is getting the triggering loss of coverage forms to the carrier (the required document and method vary by health plan). Don’t risk losing your effective date on a technicality:  Use a competent broker who is licensed and certified to help you compare all your options, on or off the exchange.  Especially valuable is the broker will help you submit a properly completed application forms to the health plan of your choice!

Certified Insurance Agents who offer educational meetings are a free service to consumers under the ACA and California law. Find a local meeting here.  If you don’t use a certified agent, then you could run into the problems publicized by KPIX 5 (San Francisco):  Watch this news story here.

Affordable Care Act “ACA Tax” Beats Up California Employers

New Health Insurer Tax, Exchange Tax, Transitional Reinsurance Tax, and Risk Adjustment Tax

The name for each ACA Tax begs the question: “Why are Employers paying for these taxes?”  The public perception, at least in California, is the ACA Tax is a health insurer tax, right?  Effective October 28, 2014, Blue Shield of California notified all small business customers that this ACA Tax is being passed through to employer group plans:

“Today we are mailing a letter to all of our small business customers renewing from February to December 2014 to notify them of the upcoming 2014 taxes and how they will impact their dues and/or premiums.” [Blue Shield of California letter to policyholder, October 28, 2013]

California Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act hits California employers hard

ACA Tax (Part I):

“Beginning on January 1, 2014 the health insurer tax and transitional reinsurance tax will be added to your base medical rate and you will see the increase on your bill.”

  • Health Insurer Tax – est.  1.3% of premium
  • Transitional Reinsurance Tax – est. 2.3% of premium

In addition to this ACA tax cost, two additional Affordable Care Act taxes will be added effective with your 2014 group anniversary date, and will become part of the group premium rate:

ACA Tax (Part II)

  • Exchange Tax – est. .2% of premium
  • Risk Adjustment Tax – est. .02% of premium 

For a big picture look at the effect of the Affordable Care Act in California, read our related story.

For additional employer requirements under the Affordable Care Act legislation click here.  For rate comparisons of new group health plans, click here.  For non-group e.g. individual family plans click this link.

Got questions? Frustrated with the Affordable Care Act?  Life’s too short to waste time with all this:  Request free consumer assistance from Certified Insurance Agents, below:



Obamacare Penalty Tax

An Obamacare Penalty Guide For All California Residents

The purpose of this article is to help individuals, families, and early retirees avoid the Obamacare penalty under the Affordable Care Act.  Obamacare Penalty

Don’t miss the next Open Enrollment season, and avoid mistakes that could cost you money and opportunity.  This is a good reference article, so retain it until you need it.


  • Since January 2014, most people will be required to have public or private health insurance or pay a financial penalty AKA the Obamacare Penalty tax.

Avoid the Obamacare Penalty and use the savings to buy vision care insurance


  • As of 2016, the penalty has been increased substantially.
  • Parents with children who are tax dependents will be responsible for making sure their children comply or also face penalties.

[Note: If you are a small business or employer representative researching your obligations under the new law, click here.  The remainder of this article is intended for California individuals and families.]

 What Is The Obamacare Penalty For Not Having Health Insurance?

  • In 2014, individual penalty was the greater of 1% of the family income above the tax filing threshold or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (max $265 per family).
  • By 2016, the maximum penalty grows to the greater of 2.5% and $2,085 per family. 
  • Do you qualify for lower rates with a Premium Assistance Subsidy?  Find out here.
  • CoveredCA-ComparisonChart and Paper Application

How will mandatory health insurance and the Obamacare penalty tax be enforced?

The IRS will administer such penalties on personal tax returns.  Besides the Obamacare penalty aspect, there is also some positives, deserving mention:  Follow the actual experience of an Agent’s first week of Obamacare on this Prezi:  My First Week of Obamacare Open Enrollment

In summary, avoid mistakes that can cost you money and opportunity. Tax issues should be reviewed with your tax advisor.  Here is a resource from the IRS: IRS Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions.

 You can find local assistance.