Starting in 2014, if you do not have medical coverage, you will have to pay a penalty (in the form of a tax). If you do not qualify for coverage through the City of Palo Alto or you do not enroll yourself or a dependent, you will have to obtain coverage or pay the penalty. This penalty is known as the individual mandate penalty.
For eligible regular employees, the health plans offered by the City of Palo Alto qualify as affordable and meet the minimum essential coverage standards set by the Affordable Care Act. Because of this, you and your family won't qualify to receive any credits or subsidies, if you purchase coverage from a Marketplace, regardless of your income or family size. If you are a seasonal or variable hour employee or are on your waiting period for benefits and do not have access to other coverage, you may still qualify for reduced premiums through a Marketplace plan. To determine if you, and/or your family qualify for subsidies under the Health Insurance Marketplace in California, called, “Covered California,” go to www. coveredca.com
For eligible regular employees, the health plans offered by City of Palo Alto qualify as minimum essential coverage. If you enroll in the City of Palo Alto’s medical plans, you avoid the individual mandate penalty that uninsured people have to pay if they are not insured for more than three months in 2014. You can still explore Marketplace coverage options and potential tax credits to see if there is a better choice for you and your family, if the City’s health plan doesn’t provide minimum value (the plan’s share of the total allowed costs of the benefits provided under the plan is less than 60% of such costs). However, keep in mind that City of Palo Alto will not contribute to the cost of a plan purchased through the Marketplace. To determine if coverage under the Marketplace is a better option for you and your family visit the websites identified below.