The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is also often referred to as Obamacare. By any name, a sure to have some effect on your budget one way or another. One of most costly ways in which it may affect you is if you choose not to purchase approved Health Insurance in 2015. At this time, some taxpayers are feeling the effects of choosing not to have Health Insurance in 2014. The Sears fine for going uninsured is far greater. Below are the pertinent facts.
Breakdown Of The Cost Of The Fines
According to the web site, healthcare.gov, the 2015 penalty (referred to by some as a tax) is determined as follows:
Individuals: There are two ways of determining the amount of the fine.
1. The fine will be 2% of an individual’s gross annual income that exceeds the filing thresholds. Generally speaking, this would be any amount over $10,000.
2. Alternately, the fine may be calculated as $235 for each adult those uninsured and $162.50 for each child who is under the age of 18 and is uninsured.
The amount you pay will be the greater amount as applicable in your situation.
It is important to note that the maximum amount paid for option number one cannot exceed the average premium nationally for the offered bronze plan. To give you an idea of the numbers, in 2014 that average amount was $204 per person monthly. It was $1020 monthly for a family consisting of five or more persons.
The 2015 national average will be unknown until the end of the year; however, the Washington Times speculates that the amount may increase as much as 14% in some areas of the United States.
For option two, the maximum amount cannot exceed $975.
How Will Fine The Collected?
The Federal government will use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to collect the fines. This is why many people consider being a tax. If you do not make enough money to file a tax return (this is general below $10,000 annually) you will not be required to pay a fine. If you are required to file, there will be blank on your return where you can enter the amount of your fine. The amount of your fine will be deducted from your refund, or you will need to pay it if you are not going to receive a refund.
Major Software Services for tax filing have all been updated appropriately. This will help you select the correct forms and fill them out appropriately. This way of dealing with this new requirement makes dealing with this fine a part of the standard income tax filing process.
Is It Possible To Be Exempted From The Fine?
It is possible not to have to pay the fine; however, it may take a bit of work. Remember that if you are covered by an ACA plan for another insurance plan that provides the minimal essential coverage required, he will not have to pay a fine.
It is also possible to be exempt from the fine in the following circumstances:
* You did have acceptable insurance coverage for more than nine months of 2015.
* You are a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe.
* You have Health Insurance provided by a Health Care sharing ministry.
* Your religion does not allow Health Insurance, Social Security, and/or Medicare.
* You spent most of the year in jail.
* You are in the United States unlawfully.
* You are facing specific financial hardships.
What Can You Do If You Are Unable To Afford Health Insurance Or The Fine?
In the event that the very least expensive coverage would cost greater than 8% of your total household gross annual income, you can be exempted. Here are some of the other hardships that may allow you to qualify for exemption:
1. You are homeless.
2. You are facing foreclosure or eviction.
3. You are facing having your utilities shut off.
4. You are in the midst of a domestic violence situation.
5. You have experienced the death of a member of your family.
6. You have experienced a substantial loss due to human-caused or natural disaster.
7. You are filing for bankruptcy.
8. You are unable to pay existing medical expenses that have caused you a substantial debt.
9. You are facing increased necessary expenses because of caring for an aging, disabled or kill a member of your family.
It is also possible to get an exception if there are changes in the CHIP or Medicaid program in your state. Furthermore, if your individual insurance policy has been canceled and you have had trouble finding new insurance, you may be exempt.
Please understand that all of these situations require the filling out of an application. Processing and approval may take weeks or even months. While you’re waiting, if you are unable to get insurance coverage and your application is then denied, you will need to pay all of the penalties that have accrued while you were waiting. It’s easy to see why waiting until the end of 2015 to file for an exemption is unwise. You should file for an exemption as soon as you have the proof of your situation.
Is It Ever A Good Idea To Simply Pay The Fine?
Of course the decision is entirely up to you; however, it is possible that you may end up paying less if you just pay the fine. If you’re an adult in good health with no preexisting conditions who can get approval for an insurance plan that predates ACA, you may be able to get the short term plan. This sort of plan doesn’t offer some of the benefits that are required under the Affordable Care Act. Examples include specific free preventative services and maternity care.
Temporary policies do have typically lower deductibles and premiums then ACA approved policies. In fact, the costs are similar to Health Insurance costs prior to ACA. This type of plan is generally good for a period of 3 to 12 months. Having this sort of plan will cause you to be subject to fines; however, you may still end up paying less for Health Insurance by purchasing a short term plan and paying your fine.
Keep in mind that these situations will change again when 2016 rolls around. Finds will increase again, so you will need to keep up with all of the developments. Open enrollment for a CA and soon, so it’s easy to see that you must make a decision and a final choice as quickly as possible.