California is making some important changes in 2020 that aim to make sure more people get the health services they deserve, without discrimination or financial hardship. #HealthForAll
Yesterday was International Universal Health Coverage Day, to recognize the goal of strong, equitable health systems that #LeaveNoOneBehind.
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One person is singing throughout the video with a light blue background with dark blue brushstrokes and the GLAD logo in the bottom right corner.
Person 1: On December 12, 2012, the United Nations passed a historic resolution urging all countries to move towards health coverage for all people. So December 12 became International Universal Health Coverage Day. Let’s talk about where we are now, and what changes are coming in 2020.
Two big changes for California in 2020 are:
The return of the individual mandate on January 1, 2020. This requires individuals to have health insurance. A coverage gap of three consecutive months is allowed. If you are uninsured for more than three months, you must either obtain an exception or pay a penalty of $695 or 2.5% of your annual income, whichever is higher, on your 2020 taxes. Exceptions to the penalty include: The cheapest health coverage price exceeds 8.24% of annual household income. Citizens living abroad or living in another state. Indigenous People and Alaska Natives. Religious exemptions. Medi-Cal Beneficiaries. General hardship, including: Homelessness. Eviction. Death of a family member. Debt from prior medical expenses….and other situations on a case-by-case basis. More information can be found online. You can also contact GLAD if you need help applying for an exception.
Fees will fund a new subsidy program. Governor Newsom expects this program will help lower the cost of health insurance for 235,000 low and middle income Californians who previously could not qualify for federal assistance. It’s important for you to enroll now, before open enrollment ends on January 15, 2020.
About three million Californians are still uninsured. Of the three million, more than half are uninsured due to their immigration status. In 2016, California expanded Medi-Cal to cover low-income undocumented minors up to age 19. Let’s talk about Medi-Cal a bit. You might know Medi-Cal covers low-income adults, families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, children in foster care, and former foster youth up to age 26. But did you realize that many people who are qualified for Medi-Cal still haven’t gotten coverage? Currently, Medi-Cal supports:
40% of ALL California children. Half of all disabled people. In total 13 million people, or one in three Californians. Medi-Cal just expanded their program to cover more people, so even if you don’t think you are eligible, you’re sitll encouraged to apply.
You can apply for Medi-Cal: Online through CoveredCA.com. In person at a local county office. Through the phone at (800) 300-1506. Or contact us to help you with your application.
It’s important for you to know that CoveredCA.com is also California’s healthcare marketplace, so even if you are not eligible for Medi-Cal, you still need to go there to select a healthcare plan that works for you.
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