Friday letters: Uninsured will face penalties

March 28, 2014 

People without health insurance need to understand the financial consequences of failure to obtain insurance before Monday, the day our choices are locked in for federal tax filing in 2015. Those below the poverty level are exempt from penalties, but all others will face a penalty based on the number of people in the household or the household income, whichever is larger.

The penalty based on the number of people is calculated by multiplying the number of adults in the household by $95 and adding $47.50 for each child under 18; this penalty is capped at $285. The penalty based on income is 1 percent of household income and is capped at the national average annual premium for bronze plans. Penalties will be significantly higher in future years.

Subsidies and tax credits assist many people in obtaining insurance. People without coverage should check out their own situation.

Eleanor Hare


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