January 27, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Health Care Reform
As recently reported, roughly 9,600 beneficiaries temporarily lost their federal premium subsidies because Covered California was unable to verify their income.
The premium subsidies that enrollees receive are determined based on income. In order to verify income against a federal database, Covered California needs consent from enrollees. In December, Covered California discovered some enrollees hadn’t provided the necessary consent and as a result have, at least temporarily, lost their subsidies as of January 1, 2017. Affected patients are now receiving bills from plans for the full, unsubsidized amounts of their premiums.
Enrollees who have not yet provided consent are urged to do so as soon as possible. Once an enrollee provides the needed consent, Covered California has pledged to recalculate the tax credits and apply them retroactively to the beginning of the year.
Affected patients will be given a special enrollment period, and can enroll or make changes to their plans until February 28, 2017. (The standard enrollment period closes for all other individuals on January 31.)
Patients impacted by this error can call Covered California’s customer service line at (800) 300-1506 or the hotline established specifically for these problems, (844) 623-2070.