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Covered California Sends Notices for Consent, Income, and Tax Attestation

by Wendy Barnett

Covered California Sends NoticesHave you received a recent letter from Covered California?  If so, make sure to open it and read it right away. Covered CA notices are always important to read, but if the recent notice sent out to certain enrollees is ignored, members may lose their financial assistance!

In the last week of April, 2017, Covered CA sent out letters called the Consent, Income and Tax Attestation Notice to members who haven’t complied with certain rules.  These members must complete certain steps by May 15th to ensure their tax credit stays in tact.

There are 3 main categories for members who are in danger of losing the tax credits.

#1 CONSENT: 
Members who have allowed their “Consent” to expire may lose tax credits. Applicants choose how long they will give consent to Covered CA to use computer sources such as tax return information to check their income and household size from year to year and must be kept current. Expired “Consent” requires action.

Action to take:
It’s easy to update your “Consent” for Covered CA to check your tax return and computer accessible information. All you need to do is call Covered CA and request it. You can also update it yourself by logging in online to your Covered CA account and clicking on the “Update Consent for Verification and Tax Filing Attestation” link. It is also a good idea to call Covered CA  to check with them that no further action is required.

#2 INCOME:
Members whose income has increased beyond the income limits for assistance (400% of the Federal Poverty Level) no longer qualify for tax credits.

Action to take:  In the case of increased income it may not be possible to keep your subsidy in place. It is wise, however, to check your income carefully and to make sure that it is reported accurately on your Covered CA case. If your income is different than what your application states, you will need to report an income change. If your current income is actually lower than what your application states or what your last year’s tax return states, then your tax credit may be able to stay in tact. To report an income change, you can call Covered CA or your insurance agent for assistance, or log in to your Covered CA account online to report the change yourself.

#3 TAX ATTESTATION:
Members who did not file their 2015 Federal Tax Return with form 8962 are at risk of losing their tax credits. If you received a tax credit in 2015 through Covered CA, then you are required to file your Tax Return AND reconcile these tax credits on form 8962. If you don’t, your current tax credits will be discontinued and you may have to pay all of the tax credits back.

Action to take:
This situation is pretty serious as you could have large financial consequences if not resolved promptly. If you haven’t filed your 2015 taxes yet, then file them right away.  If you have filed your 2015 taxes but did so without form 8962, then you may need to file an amended 2015 tax return and include form 8962 (consult a tax professional for assistance).  Once you have filed your 2015 taxes, you will need to call Covered CA and request to “attest that you filed your 2015 taxes” no later than May 15, 2017.

To contact the Covered California Service Center:
Call 1-800-300-1506 
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.