Beginning January 1, 2020, California residents must either:

  • Have qualifying health insurance coverage
  • Obtain an exemption from the requirement to have coverage
  • Pay a penalty when they file their state tax return

You will begin reporting your health care coverage on your 2020 tax return, which you will file in the spring of 2021.

Make sure you have health care coverage

To avoid a penalty, you will need minimum essential coverage (MEC) for each month beginning on January 1, 2020 for:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse or domestic partner
  • Your dependents

Many people already have qualifying health insurance coverage through:

  • Employer-sponsored plans
  • Coverage purchased through Covered California or directly from insurers
  • Medicare