Penalty for not having health insurance coverage in 2014

The yearly fee is 1 percent of your income for the year or $95 per person in your household ($47.50 per child), whichever is higher.

The Affordable Care Act states that every person in the United States must have minimum health coverage in 2014 or must pay a fee on their federal tax return. This fee is sometimes called the “individual shared responsibility payment”. In some cases, you may be able to get an exemption from the fee meaning you would not have to pay the fee.

In 2014, the yearly fee is 1 percent of your income for the year or $95 per person in your household, whichever is higher. For uninsured children under 18, the payment is $47.50 per child. You make the payment when you file your 2014 income taxes, which will be due in April 2015.

The fee increases every year. In 2015, it will be 2 percent of your income or $325 per person in your household, whichever is higher. The payment for uninsured children under 18 will be $162.50 per child. In 2016, it will be 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. After that it will be adjusted for inflation.

The way the penalty is calculated, a single adult with household income below $19,650 would pay the $95 flat rate. A single adult with household income above $19,650 would pay an amount based on the 1 percent rate. (If income is below $10,150, no penalty is owed.) For example, a married couple with two dependent children under 18 with an income of $40,000 would pay $800 for the two adults plus $400 for the two children equalling a $1200 fee for 2014.

If you are uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured. If you are uninsured for less than 3 months, you do not have to make a payment.

You are considered covered if you have health insurance provided by your employer, health insurance you purchase in the Health Insurance Marketplace, most government-sponsored coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA health coverage,), and coverage you purchase directly from an insurance company.

For more information or assistance, visit HealthCare.gov, or call the Health Insurance Marketplace call center at 1-800‑318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. You can find local application assisters at localhelp.healthcare.gov or Enroll Michigan or some private insurance companies with plans in the Marketplace.

Michigan State University Extension is providing education about health insurance basics this year, including the why, what and how for making a smart decision. Find out about Smart Choice: Health Insurance workshops and factual information at the Affordable Care Act Roadmap .

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