SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The state’s health insurance exchange is giving people who didn’t know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax penalty a little extra time to sign up for coverage this year. That may come a little too late for those who were penalized when they filed their 2014 taxes for not signing up.
A tax penalty for people who failed to buy health insurance was always part of the ACA, but Covered California is implementing a special enrollment period for those who were unaware of the penalty.READ MORE: COVID: Vaccine Deadline Looms For San Jose Police; Mayor Says 85% Officers Vaccinated
“If you didn’t have insurance in 2014, you pay one-percent of your income or $95 per adult, whichever is greater. In 2015 that doubles, so it’s two-percent of your income, or $300 for an adult,” said Lizelda Lopez with Covered California.READ MORE: Concerns At Mineta San Jose International Airport After Man Drives Into Secure Area
She said they’re aware that some people didn’t know about the tax penalty.
“We want to make sure to give them an opportunity to sign up by April 30th, so they have insurance in 2015,” said Lopez. “Health insurance can be expensive, but it is super-important to have that piece of mind that if you get in an accident or have some sort of disease that you are covered and you don’t have to worry about losing your home through bankruptcy, etc.”MORE NEWS: Sonoma Co. Wildlife Refuge Asks Public's Help To Rescue Cubs Orphaned By Caldor Fire
Consumers will have to attest to the fact that they were unaware of, or didn’t understand the tax penalty when they sign up for coverage.