Latest California Healthline Stories

Obamacare’s Tax-Time Lessons

The second round of Obamacare open enrollment is over, but your paperwork may not be. It’s tax time. And as I suspected, this is shaping up to be a stressful period for many Californians who remained uninsured or purchased health insurance from Covered California. Q: I had a Covered California plan for eight months last […]

Small Business Exchange Offline And Off Target

California has been hailed as national leader in implementing Obamacare, enrolling about 4 million people into Medi-Cal and Covered California since last year. But when it comes to our health insurance exchange for small businesses – known as SHOP – the Golden State looks tarnished. Businesses can’t enroll in SHOP online. Commissions to insurance agents have […]

Got An Obamacare Tax Credit? You May Need A Tax Preparer.

Hey, health insurance stragglers, this is your moment. Obamacare’s second open-enrollment period ends Feb. 15, which is the last day to apply for health coverage for 2015 from Covered California or the private market. (That is, unless you experience a major life change such as the birth of a child, divorce or job loss, which would […]

How To Dodge The Obamacare Tax Penalty — Legally

It’s that joyous time of year when W-2s, 1099s and the other forms we need for our taxes start landing in our mailboxes. A new form debuts this year. It’s called the 1095-A and goes to people who purchased health insurance through Covered California (and other health insurance exchanges around the country). The 1095-A is […]

Covered California’s Confusing Mail

You’ve jumped through all of Covered California’s hoops. You figured out what makes a bronze plan different from a silver one. You made your best guess at how much money you’ll earn next year. You paid your first month’s premium. Now you have health insurance. Or do you? Today, I’m explaining yet another Covered California […]

Health Law Mandate Hits Employers Unevenly

Remember those end-of-the world predictions from Nostradamus, the ancient Mayans and Pat Robertson that we somehow survived? The “employer mandate” may be Obamacare’s version of that. Starting Jan. 1, one of the most-feared aspects of the Affordable Care Act takes effect after some delay, and requires large businesses to provide health coverage to their employees […]

Updating Your Income Could Lead To Canceled Health Plan

How much money will you make next year? Yeah, I wouldn’t know the answer to that either. Projecting your income for the coming year has become a confounding but critical exercise in determining your eligibility for tax credits from Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange. It’s doubly hard for self-employed individuals and freelancers whose […]

It’s Not Easy To Check Out Of Hotel Covered California

In my previous column, I explained that you become ineligible for Covered California’s tax credits when you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. You will owe money to the government if you keep getting the credits after your Medicare begins. So I tried to offer a simple solution: Cancel your Covered California plan. Unfortunately, in […]

New To Medicare? Drop Covered California Fast

It’s open-enrollment season again, and I’m not just talking about Covered California. Among those making important health care decisions right now are more than 50 million Americans – including more than 5 million Californians – who have Medicare. That’s the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and those with kidney failure and certain […]

Open Enrollment II: Tips For Obamacare’s Second Year

I’m a notorious penny-pincher, though I much prefer the term “thrifty.” So I have some counterintuitive advice when it comes to picking a Covered California plan: Cheaper isn’t always better. I’ll explain why below and provide other advice for this year’s Covered California (and private market) open-enrollment season, which starts Nov. 15 and ends Feb. […]