California’s Health Benefit Exchange, known as “Covered California,” has proposed a policy that would require anyone in a family who is eligible for tax credits or cost-sharing to enroll in the same family policy.  Family policies are likely to be the right choice for most family members enrolling in Covered California because of the cost-sharing and the ease of making one premium payment. Some family members, for reasons of care continuity or otherwise, may prefer to purchase an individual policy distinct from one that other family members have purchased. The ACA is clear that this is a required option.  This paper provides an overview of what the federal law requires and makes the argument that Covered California must provide all enrollees the choice of individual or family policies.
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