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Covered California Closing in on One Million Mark

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. (Max Whitaker/Getty Images)

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. (Max Whitaker/Getty Images)

Update 1:00 p.m. Thursday:

Covered California reported Thursday that 923,832 people have signed up for a health insurance plan through its agency through March 9. With 18 days left in open enrollment and an expected surge predicted as the final March 31 deadline comes near, the one million enrollment mark appears within reach.

20,000 people are starting applications every day on Covered California.
In addition to the enrollment on Covered California, another 1.1 million people who have applied throughout the marketplace were determined likely to be eligible for Medi-Cal. Roughly another million people are newly enrolled in Medi-Cal because they transferred in from the Low Income Health Program on Jan. 1 or through other local and statewide efforts.

“When you take these numbers together and add the first nine days of March,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, “it means more than 3 million Californians have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.”

With just over two weeks left in open enrollment, Lee says 20,000 people are starting applications every day on the website, and roughly 10,000 people a day are finalizing enrollment by picking a plan.

“These are strong numbers,” Lee said.

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Just in Time for Tax Day: What This Year’s Taxes Have To Do With Next Year’s Obamacare

By John M. Gonzales, CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Tax Form with Stethoscope

The income you declare this year will be used to determine if you’re eligible for a health insurance subsidy starting in January. (Getty Images)

If you’re among millions of uninsured Californians eligible for government-subsidized insurance, the ripples of health reform start with Monday’s tax deadline.

First, the government will use your return this year as its first yardstick for how much of a subsidy or tax break it contributes to your health coverage next year. And second, if you don’t have health insurance a year from now, a penalty will be added to your federal tax bill.

These are among ways the federal tax code will increasingly be at the forefront of health reform’s implementation.  Other provisions are also kicking in as the countdown continues toward full operation of the Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1.

The provision that will provide the biggest boost to taxpayers is the one that offers subsidies for uninsured people who obtain coverage through new insurance exchanges.

“It’s a tremendous deal for the people who are currently uninsured,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Continue reading