Proof of Minimum Essential Coverage

In some cases, you may need to provide proof that you have minimum essential coverage. To help you understand when you may find yourself in this scenario, we cover what minimum essential coverage is, what documents you can submit for minimum essential coverage proof and how you can submit these documents.

What Is Minimum Essential Coverage?

Minimum essential coverage is a type of coverage you may need to purchase to meet the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility requirement. This coverage includes:

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Job-based coverage
  • Individual market policies

Covered California may request proof that you have minimum essential coverage. This proof determines whether you are already enrolled in a qualified health plan, also known as an Obamacare California plan, that meets the individual responsibility requirement and may disqualify you from subsidies through Covered California.

In order to be enrolled into a Covered California Exchange Plan with a subsidy, you must not have any of the following scenarios apply to you:

  • Be currently enrolled in a group health insurance plan through your employer
  • Be currently offered “affordable” group health insurance through your employer
  • Be currently enrolled in a government-sponsored plan like Medi-Cal or Medicare

If you used to but no longer have this type of coverage, you will need to show a letter of the discontinuance of the insurance. It is important to know this requirement applies throughout the year, during Special Enrollment and Open Enrollment Periods.

Why You Need Proof of Minimum Essential Coverage

Previously, under the Affordable Care Act, Americans needed to have minimum essential coverage or they would be forced to pay a tax penalty. As of 2019, this mandate has been discontinued at the federal level, though the requirement and penalty still apply to California residents.

To ensure you have this coverage, you may need to submit proof. By submitting your proof to Covered California, you can avoid being penalized when you file your state tax return.

Acceptable Documents for Proof of Minimum Essential Coverage

Below is a list of the acceptable minimum essential coverage documents you can offer as proof of your coverage with Covered California:

  • Notice of Action of discontinuance from Medicaid
  • Notice of Action of discontinuance from Medi-Cal
  • Confirmation of disenrollment from your health insurance plan
  • Confirmation of disenrollment from your employer-sponsored health insurance plan

If none of the above-mentioned scenarios apply to your situation, then this proof may have been requested in error.

How to Send Documents

You can send your documents to Covered California via snail mail, fax or electronic upload.

Snail Mail

While this method is acceptable, it’s not the preferred method for submitting your documents. If you choose to send your documents via snail mail, send them to:

Covered California
P.O. Box 989725
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9725

Though you are not required to include a return receipt, this can be helpful, as it may take weeks for mailed-in documents to be processed.


A better method for submitting your documents than snail mail is faxing. If you want to fax your acceptable documents for proof of minimum essential coverage to Covered California, fax them to 1-888-329-3700.

Ensure each of your documents lists your first and last name and your Covered California case number. If you have been provided a cover sheet from Covered California, send this with your proof. Include these regardless of the method you choose to send your documents.

Electronic Upload

The best method for submitting your documents is uploading them electronically. This is the best method because it ensures your documents are received quickly and can be processed in a timely manner. Electronically uploading your documents is also the most secure way of sending them, ensuring your private information is kept safe and confidential.

Get More Answers With Health for California

Still have questions about proof of minimum essential coverage? Review our minimum essential coverage FAQs to learn more. Feel free to reach out to us with other questions, and if you need health care coverage, get a quote from Health for California.

Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.

Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.

Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.

Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.