Many senators are asking about what would happen to those Californians who fail to — or are unable to — comply with the mandate.
It’s a good question and it’s a concern that has spun many rumors about some faceless bureaucrat — knocking at your door, garnishing wages, putting liens on your house.
Here’s the real scoop: ABx1 1 says nothing about this kind of enforcement. Additionally, such behavior by a state agency (ie. Franchise Tax Board) would not be permitted until
- a) the Legislature approves legislation on that issue and
- b) the Legislature approves funding for enforcement, which is unlikely given the existing funding shortfall.
What ABx1 1 does say is if a person does not have coverage after 62 days, they will be told of different options where they could find coverage (public programs, the state purchasing pool). If the individual does not act, they will be automatically enrolled in the least expensive policy. The state will then recover the costs of that coverage through the Franchise Tax Board, but no additional penalties are exacted.