How do the Penalties work?
If you are not exempt per the ACA Exemption Requirements, then the penalties for Obamacare for not having healthcare insurance will be paid when you file 2014 taxes, which are due in April of 2015. You will need to provide evidence on your tax return that you had health care coverage or you will receive a penalty. Unfortunately, you can’t worm your way out of the penalty doghouse with “The website was down”, “I thought all of this was starting next year” or “I’m a far right Republican”. Everyone that cannot prove they had healthcare in 2014, and were not exempt, will receive a penalty.
12/21/13 Update – A recent change to the exemption rules adds those who were dumped from their insurance plans to those that will not have to receive a penalty. Additional loopholes, meaning more exemptions, may very well emerge as more situations (yet to be identified) would not be logical to impose a penalty. But for those with no exemptions, the penalties are listed below.
What are the Penalties per year?
- 2014 – $95 +47.50 per child with a max of $285 or 1% of income, whichever is greater.
- 2015 – $325 or 2% of income, whichever is greater.
- 2016 – $695 or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater.
- 2017 – $695 + cost of living adjustment or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater.
The ACA government mandate may cost you much more than you ever imagined, so you may choose to take the penalty because it’s cheaper. Keep in mind that that if you do not participate in Obamacare, and have an accident that results in costly medical bills, you could regret it. High cost medical expenses due to an accident or serious illness is one of the top reasons for bankruptcy in the US.
If you choose to disobey the ACA, please, please:
- Find out about your lower cost local clinics and other medical facilities where you can pay out of pocket in case you really need medical attention.
- Ease up on the extreme mountain biking, skiing, etc.
- Say yay to fruit and veggies, and nay to junk food.
- Drink more water.
- Ramp up on a safe exercise program that includes stretching.
- Stop smoking, addictive drinking & drugs.
- Practice safety wherever you can.
- Learn emergency management procedures.
- Drive defensively.
- Stop texting while driving.
- Practice Positivity