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Well being protection modifications embody mandate to carry medical insurance coverage in 2020 – jj

Well being protection modifications embody mandate to carry medical insurance coverage in 2020


CHICO — The new year brings sweeping change to several state health coverage laws, from a health insurance mandate to new coverage opportunities for undocumented young adults.

According to a new tax mandate by California, residents without health insurance this year will pay a penalty on 2021 tax returns. The mandate is the Managed Care Organization provider tax, part of Assembly Bill 115.

The penalty fine for not having health insurance for a full year is whichever is higher: either $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, per household, or, if higher, 2.5% of the annual household income above the state tax filing threshold. The fine won’t apply if a resident has a gap in coverage that is less than three months, and the full fine will only be required if the resident goes without coverage for the whole year.

A gap in coverage that lasts for more than three months but less than a full year will be fined at about 1/12 of the full fine amount for each uncovered month.

Revenue from this mandate could go toward funding premium assistance for low and middle income residents enrolling in Covered California.

Changes to Medi-Cal

Several changes affect Medi-Cal benefits and eligibility. This year, Medi-Cal coverage is now available to income-eligible undocumented adults between the ages of 19 and 26. According to the state’s Department of Health Care Services, the initiative titled the Young Adult Expansion is modeled after Senate Bill 75, which provided full scope Medi-Cal to all eligible children under age 19 regardless of immigration status.

In addition, total benefits from Medi-Cal will now include optional benefits that were previously unavailable during the 2008 recession. Some of these now include eyeglasses, podiatry, speech therapy and audiology.

A new change to coverage also means that mothers who are diagnosed with a maternal mental health disorder and whose providers leave their insurance network are still able to visit the provider and remain fully covered for up to 12 months.

In addition, a separate budget change has extended Medi-Cal coverage to mothers with mental health disorders from 60 days to one year. A study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health in 2011 showed that worldwide, approximately 60% of women with enduring mental health issues have dependent children. In the United States and the United Kingdom alone, approximately one-third of the female mental health services users are parents with dependent children.

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