It has been a strange couple of years trying to understand if your health insurance in mandatory. First Obamacare instituted the mandate but it was soon removed by the Trump administration. And now California has created a state mandate for health insurance effective 2020. California implemented these penalties as a way to encourage more people to enroll in insurance, and also as well as fund the insurance subsidies provided to low and middle income families.
Many people here in California do not know they are required to have health insurance this year. Although legislation has been finalized the news has not reached everybody's ears and a majority of uninsured Californians do not know how it will affect them.
"Households could pay a flat fine — $695 for each uninsured adult and $347.50 for each child — or 2.5% of their income, whichever is higher. The penalties will be paid to the California Franchise Tax Board when 2020 taxes are paid in the year 2021."
Open enrollment for CoveredCa individual insurance plans ended last month. However, there are still ways you can avoid the penalty. Companies like Medi-Share offer "An affordable alternative to health insurance" that qualifies as coverage for the new California law. You can enroll anytime throughout the year however it is important to enroll now because anyone who goes uninsured for 3 months this year will receive a penalty.
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Details about the mandate found here: