Open enrollment for Covered California begins October 15 and ends January 15, 2019. This is the time to change your current plan or sign up for new coverage.
Despite rising premiums, the uninsured rate remained at 8.8 percent last year with nearly 28.5million Americans without insurance. Uninsured rates are expected to rise next year when the individual mandate is lifted.
In 2018, under new guidance from the Trump administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will allow individuals to claim hardship exemptions without providing supporting documentation. A hardship might be classified as a bankruptcy, fire, flood or homelessness or other circumstance that made it impossible to get insurance. Without an exemption, an individual would pay either $695 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is higher.
“Although the tax cuts signed by the President earlier this year eliminate the mandate penalty starting in 2019, Americans are still under threat of the penalty for this tax year of 2018,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement clarifying the rules for this year.