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Covered CA Enrollment Period To End April 30


If you’re one of the many Californians who received a higher-than-anticipated tax penalty for being uninsured, you now have a second chance to get insurance for 2015. Covered California says it’s extending its open enrollment until April 30 to give those without coverage a chance to – at least – lower their tax penalty this year. 

This tax year was the first time Californians had to pay a penalty for being uninsured. The penalty was $95 dollars, or 1 percent of the uninsured person’s income, whichever was greater. Covered California is pretty sure many didn’t hear or understand the 1 percent of your income part, as there were many Californians who reported being completely surprised to receive tax penalties that were hundreds of dollars. 

It’s a price that’s going to keep going up, as the uninsured penalty – called the shared responsibility payment – doubles each year. That’s according to Dana Howard, Covered California deputy director of communications and public relations. Howard explains the cost of being uninsured in 2014 was $95 minimum. In 2015 the penalty increases to $325 dollars or 2 percent of your income, whichever is greater. 

“And then in 2016, it’s going to go up again,” Howard said. “It’s going to go up to 2.5 percent or $695, whichever is greater. So the penalties are stiff. The shared responsibility payment, which is what this penalty is, is stiff. And so folks need to understand that it doesn’t make sense to continue to say ‘Well, I’ll just take my chances.’” 

Howard says those tax penalties will apply for each uninsured adult in the household. He says those who sign up before the April 30 extension deadline will still have to pay a prorated tax penalty for being uninsured from January through May, but it will be less than if you were to sign up at the next enrollment in December. For more information or to sign up Howard says visit    

Covered California has also planned the following enrollment events this week in Butte and Glenn counties where you can learn more about getting insured:

  • Orland: 1 to 4:30 p.m., April 22, at Orland library, 333 Mill St.
  • Chico: 9 a.m. to noon, April 23, at Chico library, 1108 Sherman Ave.
  • Paradise: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., April 24, at Paradise library, 5922 Clark Road.

Those who attend should come equipped with the number of family members enrolling, their dates of birth and Social Security numbers, their home address and phone numbers, and a most recent paycheck stub for adults in the household.

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