California Mandating Individual Coverage - SB 78

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Despite the fact that 93% of Californians have health insurance, as part of its 2019 budget, the California legislature passed and Governor Newsom signed into law - The Minimum Essential Coverage Individual Mandate”. This mandate is modelled after the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The new mandate, effective January 1, 2020, requires California residents (who are not already covered by individual or group health coverage) to enroll in qualified insurance coverage for each month of the year, with exemptions for individuals on the basis of financial hardship or religious beliefs as determined by the state’s healthcare exchange, Covered California.

The new law imposes an Individual Shared Responsibility Penalty on individuals who fail to maintain Minimum Essential Coverage, as determined and collected by the state’s Franchise Tax Board, in collaboration with Covered California. This penalty revenue will be used to fund health insurance subsidies (for individuals and families at or below 600% of the federal poverty level).

The new law was designed to encourage more people to purchase health insurance and to provide health care to undocumented immigrants unless the applicable individual, applicable spouse, or applicable dependents meets one of the statutory exemptions.

UnitedAg believes that this new law may increase the enrollment of spouses and dependent children in employer provided healthcare plans.

Be assured that UnitedAg is available to support our employers that want to assist their employees’ compliance with this new mandate.