If you choose not to purchase health insurance, you could be fined.
People who get sick or hurt and do not have health insurance are often left to pay expensive medical bills. When these medical bills go unpaid — everybody ends up paying the price as hospitals can not do their work for free. This is why the ACA requires everyone buy health insurance or face a fine.
People who choose to pay the fine rather than buy insurance will still be 100% responsible for their medical bills.
The fine in 2014 → 1% of your income or $95 (whichever is higher)
By 2016 → 2.5% of your income or $695 (whichever is higher)
You will also have to pay a fine for any uninsured children in your household.
The 2016 fee for uninsured children is $347.50 per child under 18. The most a family would have to pay in 2016 is $2,085.
The uninsured won’t have to pay a fee if they:
- are uninsured for less than 3 months of the year
- have very low income and coverage is considered unaffordable
- are not required to file a tax return due to low income
- would qualify under the new income limits for Medicaid, but their state has chosen not to expand Medicaid eligibility
- are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
- are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to health insurance
If you don’t fit under any of these, you can apply for an exemption asking not to pay a fee. You do this in the Marketplace.
2016 New Resource! –> New fact-sheet on the top 20 coverage exemptions