Residents of California will be assessed a penalty if they do not have health insurance coverage under the new state budget plan Gov. Gavin Newsom signed June 27. Gov. Newsom signed A.B. 74, enacting a $215 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The insurance mandate is included in S.B. 78, one of the 15 related bills that make statutory revisions necessary to carry out the universal coverage requirement. The mandate is part of Gov. Newsom’s progress toward universal health coverage in California to counteract the efforts of the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The state insurance mandate will go into effect in January 2020, and reinstates the federal ACA provisions that the Trump administration has failed to enforce. Uninsured Californians would be assessed to $695 annually. The budget calls for California to use the anticipated $300 million in annual revenue from the penalty to expand health insurance premium subsidies for people buying coverage through the state benefits exchange.

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