News Release

Date Posted

More Than 33,000 Consumers Unaware of Tax Penalty for Being Uninsured Have Enrolled In Health Insurance through Covered California Since February

Those Without Health Insurance Have Three Days to Enroll in Covered California to Minimize Penalty for Being Uninsured in 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With just two days until the April 30 deadline, Covered California urged consumers on Tuesday to enroll in health coverage and announced that more than 33,000 people who signed up since February indicated they were unaware of the tax penalty for being uninsured. The 33,000 enrollees were among more than 91,000 consumers who enrolled in coverage through special enrollment since open enrollment ended in February.

“For the first time in history, health care and taxes now go hand in hand. It is heartening to see consumers recognize the value in being covered and avoid the risks to their health and pocketbook that come from remaining uninsured,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.

After open enrollment ended, Covered California announced it would create a category of special enrollment to give individuals who were unaware of the tax implications of remaining uninsured an opportunity to enroll through April 30. 

“Many consumers who just finished their taxes learned there is a tax penalty for being uninsured,” Lee said. “If they act now, they can avoid an even steeper penalty for tax year 2015.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers may face a penalty of $325 per adult or 2 percent of their income, whichever is greater, for lacking health coverage in 2015.

After April 30, consumers unaware of the tax penalty can only sign up for coverage through Covered California if they meet another special-enrollment qualifying condition, such as having a baby, getting married, losing their health care coverage because they have changed jobs, or moving to another area. Medi-Cal enrollment continues year-round.

Consumers may enroll at or seek help from Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and county eligibility workers to enroll. To find in-person assistance, consumers should visit and click on the “Find Local Help” button.

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit