Affordable Care Act

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    ASK EMILY: How to dodge the Obamacare tax penalty -- legally

    By EMILY BAZAR, CHCF Center for Health Reporting
    Wednesday, Jan 28 2015 04:56 PM

    It's that joyous time of year when W-2s, 1099s and the other forms we need for our taxes start landing in our mailboxes.

    A new form debuts this year. It's called the 1095-A and goes to people who purchased health insurance through Covered California (and other health insurance exchanges around the country).

    The 1095-A is just the beginning. Obamacare made some big changes to the tax system, and as a result, filing income taxes will be more complicated for some people.

    Q: There's supposedly an exemption to the Obamacare insurance requirement if you can't find an affordable health plan. But I'm having difficulty obtaining information about it. Can you explain?

    A: There is, indeed, such an exemption. And there are many others....

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    ASK EMILY: Covered California's confusing mail

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers' questions about the Affordable Care Act. You've jumped through all of Covered California's hoops. You figured out what makes a bronze plan different from a silver one. You made your...

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    ASK EMILY: Health law mandate hits employers unevenly

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers' questions about the Affordable Care Act. Starting Jan. 1, one of the most-feared aspects of the Affordable Care Act took effect after some delay, requiring large businesses to...

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    ASK EMILY: Updating your income could lead to canceled health plan

    How much money will you make next year? Yeah, I wouldn't know the answer to that either. Projecting your income for the coming year has become a confounding but critical exercise in determining your eligibility for tax credits from...

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    Health reform in California: A state of accelerating change

    Gail Fulbeck, 64, relies on her body for work. She hauls soda, energy drinks, snacks and water to the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento. The physical demands of her job, coupled with her husband's history of...

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    Health reform proves a mixed bag in Kern

    Margaret Pendley has had chronic pain since the double whammy of a car accident in February and a fall a month later. The restaurant server has been on disability since the accident, and has spent much of this year trying to find a pain...

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    ASK EMILY: It's not easy to check out of Hotel Covered California

    In my previous column, I explained that you become ineligible for Covered California's tax credits when you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. You will owe money to the government if you keep getting the credits after your Medicare begins....

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    ASK EMILY: New to Medicare? Drop Covered California fast

    It's open-enrollment season again, and I'm not just talking about Covered California. Among those making important health care decisions right now are more than 50 million Americans -- including more than 5 million Californians -- who...


    ASK EMILY: Open enrollment II: Tips for Obamacare's second year

    I'm a notorious penny-pincher, though I much prefer the term "thrifty." So I have some counterintuitive advice when it comes to picking a Covered California plan: Cheaper isn't always better. I'll explain why below and provide other advice...

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    ASK EMILY: Key efforts to reform health reform

    It has been quite a year. More than 3 million of you signed up for new health coverage in California. But many of you couldn't find doctors who accepted your plans. Some of you were charged hundreds or thousands of dollars for desperately...

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    ASK EMILY: Translations key to keeping coverage

    Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, has taken a lot of heat for its communication -- or lack thereof -- to consumers who don't speak English well. To its credit, the agency has improved in the past year, especially...

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    ASK EMILY: Look Ma, no option! My teeth are covered.

    Like many things in Obamacare, dental insurance is more complicated than it should be. In today's column, I'll try to bring some clarity to the issue and preview coming changes that may affect how often you see a dentist -- and at what...

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    ASK EMILY: More on those rising insurance rates

    I'm sure you've heard that premiums for plans sold through our health insurance exchange, Covered California, will go up an average of 4.2 percent next year. Just remember, "average" means just that. Your premium increase (or decrease in...

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