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Listen: Generous Deals, and a Few Unwanted Surprises, at Covered California

Analysis  |  By Kaiser Health News  
   January 28, 2022

Because of a significant increase in federal tax credits, many people qualify for generous coverage without paying a penny in monthly premiums.

This audio presentation was released on Friday, January 28, 2022 by Kaiser Health News.

KHN Southern California correspondent Bernard J. Wolfson was on "Línea Abierta," a Radio Bilingüe weekday news program, answering questions for a Spanish-speaking audience about his recent column on health plan enrollment through California's Affordable Care Act marketplace, Covered California.

Wolfson's column discusses the extraordinary deals available through Covered California. Because of a significant increase in federal tax credits, many people qualify for generous coverage without paying a penny in monthly premiums. Others, with higher incomes, qualify for tax credits large enough to reduce their premiums to easily affordable levels.

But, as Wolfson notes, some enrollees are facing sticker shock: People who received unemployment benefits for at least one week last year paid only $1 a month for comprehensive coverage in 2021, as a result of a federal rule that looks unlikely to be renewed for 2022.

Covered California's annual enrollment period ends Jan. 31, but people who undergo certain life-altering changes — losing a job, getting divorced, having or adopting a child, for example — can enroll anytime.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Some enrollees are facing sticker shock: People who received unemployment benefits for at least one week last year paid only $1 a month for comprehensive coverage in 2021, as a result of a federal rule that looks unlikely to be renewed for 2022.

Covered California's annual enrollment period ends Jan. 31, but people who undergo certain life-altering changes — losing a job, getting divorced, having or adopting a child, for example — can enroll anytime.


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