Health insurance is easier to get these days, and more Americans are covered now thanks to the Affordable Care Act, known to many as “Obamacare”. But you do have to actually go to the exchange website and sign up, and I know there will be people, such as small business owners, job changers or recent graduates, who let this slide last year. What happens if you never signed up?
What Happens if You Don’t Have Coverage?
Beginning in 2014, if you or a dependent did not have qualifying insurance for at least one day of each month in 2014, a “shared responsibility payment” or tax penalty applies.
The penalty is the greater of either:
● 1% of income that falls above the threshold for filing a return ($20,300 for joint filers, $10,150 for singles);
● $95 per adult, plus $47.50 per dependent under 18 (capped at $285 for a family).
The maximum payment for 2014 is $2,448 per individual, topping out at $12,240 for a family of five or more.
Here’s an example: if you are single with an income of $100,000, the penalty would be $898.50 ($100,000 – 10,150 = $89,850, $89,850 * 1% = $898.50). [This is a simplified example; please consult your tax adviser for your individual situation.]
Exemptions are available, including one for a gap in coverage that lasted less than three consecutive months. Instructions to new Form 8965 provide further details.
How Do I Sign Up?
Here in New York, go to the marketplace website at info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov to apply for coverage, compare plans and enroll. You can go to www.healthcare.gov for states that use the federal marketplace or to find links for other states.
Just Do It
Health insurance coverage is a crucial component of your financial plan. While it may seem expensive if you are buying it for the first time, health insurance does protect you from the “big” expenses that can result from a serious accident or illness. If you still don’t have insurance, get it now.
This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but The Stanich Group, LLC does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.
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