Mom, Dad, I'm 26 and I forgot to enroll in Covered California, "I'm so sorry, but what do I do now"?

February 26, 2015

If you just started preparing your taxes for that refund you were hoping for and you just now learned that there is a tax penalty for not enrolling, you can apply from now until April 30 at Covered California.

If your income is less than $16,100 for an individual, you may apply for Medi-Cal at any time. There is no limited open enrollment period for Medi-Cal.

If you got married, had a child, lost health coverage, moved to another county or state, lost your job, your income changed a lot so you now qualify for help paying your premiums, you became a citizen or a new legal permanent resident or you had a really, really good life changing excuse, you can qualify for “special enrollment”, but you have to do it in 60 days of the life event.

Mom, how much is that tax penalty, maybe I should just pay it. For last year (2014), it was $95 per person or 1% of your annual income, whichever is more. For this year (2015), it will be $325 per person or 2% of your annual income, whichever is higher. For next year, it goes up to the higher of $650 or 2.5% of your annual income. Just don’t ask your Dad to pay your tax penalties.