Obamacare Fines: How Much Will You Have to Pay?

    Obamacare will mean good things for some people, and fines for others.

    Unless you qualify for an exemption, you will face a fine if you don’t have insurance.

    The fine for 2014 is $95 per person or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater.

    However, by 2016 the fines are up to $695 per year, or 2.5 percent of income. For families, the tax is 2.5 percent of income or $2,085, whichever is greater.

    The fines are also known as income tax penalty.

    According to Obamacare Facts, “The requirement can be waived for several reasons, including financial hardship or religious beliefs. If the tax would exceed 8% of your income you are exempt, also some religious groups are exempt. That tax cannot exceed the cost of a ‘bronze plan’ bought on the exchange.”

    Other imposed “fines” that are part of Obamacare:

    -People making more than $200,000 will have Medicare payroll taxes increase from 1.45 percent of income to 2.35 percent. 

    -Small businesses with over 50 employees have to insure their employees or pay a penalty–$2,000 per employee

    -An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.

    While Obamacare forces health insurance providers to not deny coverage for major health problems, it will take a while for insurance to kick in. In other words, you can’t just buy insurance when you need it.

    Coverage people buy starting Oct. 1 of this year takes effect Jan. 1, 2014, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

    “If you don’t sign up by March 31, 2014, you can’t sign up again until Oct. 15, 2014, and it won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2015. The exception: If you lose insurance due to a “qualifying event,” such as getting laid off or moving to another state. But even then, coverage doesn”t take effect until the month after you buy it.”

    Obamacare Trade-off: Low Premium, High Deductible

    You might be pleased with the low monthly premium for one of the new health insurance plans under President Barack Obama’s overhaul, but the added expense of copayments and deductibles could burn a hole in your wallet.

    An independent analysis released Wednesday, on the heels of an administration report emphasizing affordable premiums, is helping to fill out the bottom line for consumers.

    The annual deductible for a mid-range “silver” plan averaged $2,550 in a sample of six states studied by Avalere Health, or more than twice the typical deductible in employer plans. A deductible is the amount consumers must pay each year before their plan starts picking up the bills.

    Americans looking for a health plan in new state insurance markets that open next week will face a trade-off familiar to purchasers of automobile coverage: to keep your premiums manageable, you agree to pay a bigger chunk of the repair bill if you get in a crash. Except that unlike an auto accident, serious illness is often not a self-contained event.

    Avalere also found that the new plans will require patients to pay a hefty share of the cost — 40 percent on average — for certain pricey drugs, like the newer specialty medications used to treat intractable chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. On the other hand, preventive care will be free of charge to the patient.

    “Consumers will need to balance lower monthly premiums against the potential for unpredictable, expensive out-of-pocket costs in plans with higher deductibles,” said Caroline Pearson, a vice president of the private market analysis firm. “There is a risk that patients could forgo needed care when faced with high up-front deductibles.”

    Responding to the Avalere study, the Obama administration acknowledged the new plans aren’t as generous as employer coverage, but said they nonetheless represent a big improvement over currently available individual policies, which can have gaps in coverage and even larger out-of-pocket costs.

    Also on Wednesday, the administration unveiled premiums and plan choices for 36 states where the federal government is taking the lead to cover uninsured residents. Insurance markets that go live Oct. 1 will offer subsidized private coverage to people who do not have health insurance on the job, including the uninsured and those who currently buy their own policies.

    Before new tax credits that work like a discount for most consumers, premiums for a mid-range “silver” benchmark plan will average $328 a month nationally for an individual, the administration report found. Beneath that average are wide differences for individuals, depending on where they live, how much they make, and other factors.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the average consumer will be able to choose among more than 50 plan options.

    “For millions of Americans, these new options will finally make health insurance work within their budgets,” Sebelius told reporters in a preview call Tuesday. The markets — called “exchanges” in some states — are the only place where consumers will be able to get a tax credit for health insurance.

    HHS estimated that about 95 percent of consumers will have two or more insurers to choose from. And the administration says premiums will generally be lower than what congressional budget experts estimated when the legislation was being debated. About one-fourth of the insurers participating are new to the individual coverage market, a sign that could be good for competition.

    But averages can be misleading. When it comes to the new health care law, individuals can get dramatically different results based on their particular circumstances.

    Where you live, the plan you pick, family size, age, tax credits based on your income, and even tobacco use will all impact the bottom line. All those variables could make the system hard to navigate.

    For example, the average individual premium for a benchmark policy known as the “second-lowest-cost silver plan” ranges from a low of $192 in Minnesota to a high of $516 in Wyoming. That’s the sticker price, before tax credits.

    In the three states with the highest uninsured population, the benchmark plan will average $373 in California, $305 in Texas, and $328 in Florida. Differences between states can be due to the number of insurers competing and other factors.

    “One surprise is Texas,” said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “That is a state that has put up roadblocks to implementation, but the premiums there are below average.”

    The second-lowest-cost silver plan is important because tax credits are keyed to its cost in local areas.

    But consumers don’t have to take silver. They can pick from four levels of coverage, from bronze to platinum. All the plans cover the same benefits and cap annual out-of-pocket expenses at $6,350 for an individual, $12,700 for families.

    The big difference is cost sharing through annual deductibles and copayments. Bronze covers 60 percent of expected costs; silver, 70 percent, on up to platinum at 90 percent. Bronze plans have the lowest premiums and the highest cost sharing.

    As the Avalere study showed, premiums aren’t the only factor consumers should weigh.

    The flurry of new reports comes as the White House swings into full campaign mode to promote the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to a skeptical public. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, refuse to abandon their quest to derail “Obamacare” and are flirting with a government shutdown to force the issue.

    Starting Jan. 1, virtually all Americans will be required to carry health insurance or face fines. At the same time, the health care law will prohibit insurance companies from turning away people in poor health, or charging them more.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


    • LANCE

      THIS OBAMACARE JUST STINKS LIKE(U KNOW WHAT).AND THIS A!#**** OBAMA IS FORCEING US ALL TO GET IT LIKE A DICTATIOR.WE HAVE THE GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO SAY “NO” WITH NO FINES.I’M RETIRED AND HAVE MEDACARE BUT MEDACARE ONLY PAYS 80%-SO THIS OBAMACARE SEEMS TO AVOID THE 20%COST MEDACARE DOES NOT PAY.WE ALREADY HAVE A GREAT MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM,WHY NOTUPDATE IT,IMPROVE AND MAKE THE SYSTEM WE HAVE FOR YEARS EVEN MORE BETTER AND USE THE MONEY FOR OBAMACARE TO FIX,UPDATE ETCTHE MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM WE GOT NOW AND HAVE HAD FOR YEARS AND YEARS ITS FAR,FAR CHEAPER!!!!!!!!!.WHY POUR OUR TAX MONEY INTO A DARK,DEEP UNKNOWN RAT HOLE WE CAN’T SEE THE THE PIT FALLS,TRAPS WHICH WILL EVEN COST US MORE BILLIONS OF MONEY.WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM ,JUST FIX IT RIGHT,OBAMACARE IS SOCIALIZED MEDICAL(LIKE IN CHINA).I’VE BEEN IN CHINA 2 TIMES AND HAD TO USE THEIR MEDICAL CARE.TRUST ME ITS VERY POOR CARE AND IF YOU ARE SENIOR(VERY OLD OR HAVE HANDYCAP-THE SYSTEM JUST IGNORS YOU AND YOU ARE OUT IN STREET BEGGING TO GET MONEY TO GET THE CARE YOU NEED.YOU ARE DEAD BEING OLD.!!!!.YOU WOULD GET FAR BETTER MEDICAL CARE SEEING YOUR “PETS”VET DOCTOR.

    • Harleys R. Toofuknloud

      If you turn the heat on high, the frog will jump out of the pot.
      If you turn the heat up slowly, the frog cooks.

      Americans are now slowly cooking in this tax and insurance scam called “health care”, and don’t even know it.

      • Andrew Bennett

        Little white lies.When will they stop.

      • Arlania

        The state have kept up so many americans free.Isn’t it time we took on some of the responsibilities.We buy nice cars and spend money on name brands clothes and shoes.We love to dine out on week ends.and spend money on intertainment.Love to spend money on sports.Yet we don’t feel it is fair to spend money on insurance to take some of the burden off the government.

    • jthunderman

      Don’t you just love fascism?!

    • Larry Cowden

      The one that should be boiled is the Obamass for this fracking mess! he’s done nothing but frack up the country since he was elected. That’s all he knows.

      • Arlania

        This county was already in a mess and will always be in a mess as long as we cannot come together

    • Andrew Bennett

      If you work, and have a job or self-employed, companies will offer you a % out of your pay monthly,weekly,bi-weekly to buy into a group rate for Healthcare Insurance.The percentage you pay, depends on your pay or How the company you work for negotiate or are good at making deals,or you can go it alone and get a better deal from another state.There is 50 states in the United States of America,and 5 populated,and 9 unpopulated territories.

      • Glenn Festog

        Insurance companies exist SOLELY through the principle that the majority of payees NEVER collect more than they pay in. In a country that ranks #1 in healthcare cost and #37 in actual care, mandatory Obamacare is fraudulent theft and there is no better proof of this than the fact that CONgress exempted themselves from the program. After all, its for the peasants, not the Nobility………..

    • Andrew Bennett

      I LOVE O’BAMACARE

    • Arlania

      We pay big money for a hair do and nails and toes.We pay for intertainment.Love to dine out and wear name brand clothes and shoes.Why not get health insurance to take care of our family.The state have taken care of so many americans that really could help themselves.They feed and house so many american.I think it is time to give something back into the system.

      • jumpingamma

        I am glad you can afford to have your hair nails and toes done, and entertainment, and name brand clothes and shoes, not me I do my own hair and nails , my entertainment is tv. I buy my cloths from discount store and my shoes also. you think they pay for so many Americans, I am American no one pays my way. I live on a very limited income but yet to much by 200 a year to get help with Obama care I have one choice in the state I live in, no one is going to help me and my husband who is disabled. my choice for health care will be more that my house payment we haven’t had a cost of living raise in 4 years. look at your parents or grandparents and your siblings and your neighbors can they afford what you are saying is the best for all.

      • Steve Silver

        Arlania I am glad you can live like that..I have not had the time or money to do all that you have said that you do..I wish you would do a lot of the math that you said we should do to help our Gov. out…When was the last time you have added up all the taxes that you are paying right now..Not counting this newer tax coming because of it..In N.C. we are paying 8% on anything..Car taxes each year-Tags-Inspecting-gas taxes are about 48 cent on the dollar..Now then you have to add your house and land tax-rain off tax-pet tax-boat tax-lawn mower tax yes even that-then you have your tax on your power bill-cable bill then you have to pay someone to haul off your trash even if you take it there yourself you have to pay a min. of $10.00- Oh did I have School tax for your children to go to school..it call for books..yea right..Then you pay for parking at a place that your tax dollars had pay for over and over..it about 10.00 a car..in D.C. it is 11.oo per hour..lol then you have you all the others taxes taken out of your check each pay week..add all the up and now you think we should have to pay even more so something that we had pay for years too..In N.C. I had heard that your med. insurance is going up about 300% over your older one..so if you are paying about 300.00 per month for just yourself..just add your better half to that and that will be about 600.00 per month..so add that other 300% to the 600.oo per month.And the older person living in the gov. help care housing has to give all their money and home and land to them also..If they die in the homes and you are getting something from them in a will..Then the gov..going to take about 60% from it first even if they don’t live in the helping part of it..Call the death tax..So you can see why I don’t even want the gov. to mess with my doctor and cause me to look for another one that would take me..because so many are quitting the job because the new law takes away so much of the money that they make for going to college for 8 plus years at about 40.000.oo per year to learn to do that job.We have the best medical and only about 19% of the people right now do not have health coverage..So why mess with that..It call a train wreck for a reason..Company can not pay that much to have more than 49 people working for them..it a 2,000.oo tax on each one over 50 that work there without health insurance..Would you pay that much if you own a small business? Yes you can pay for their health insurance..but it going to be way to high for them to take on the cost..And yes your insurance will be cheaper each month ..but you will have to pay about 40% of the bill first..We only pay 0% to 20% now..so that will be even more for us to pay for..I just think you should think hard on all the money the government is getting and take from us right now..it has to stop someplace for sure..Our forefathers would be very unhappy with all the taxes we are paying for..That is why I love the TEA PARTY..They want the gov, to get out of our pockets and pay for their own bills before spending more..Don’t even say that our Medicare is broke either..The gov.. had taken all the money for it and spend it on something else ,that is why it is going broke..If they had left the money alone it would still have a lot in it for all to have what we have now..Instead of us paying for all the the ones who came from other places..Let them pay for there own if they are to use the stuff we had pay for over the years..I have too much to pay for right now..Take care sorry it so long..Long story shorter for you is the Government once they get the money for something it stay that way even if they paid all of it off ..My grandmother told me that as a little girl that they had tax a water line to their house and said it would be pay for in five years..She was about 17 teen..She died at age 87 back in the early 90′s and yes they are still paying for the water line to that house..lol it just call a maintenance free now..Must be made out of pure gold..

    • jumpingamma

      well just wondering my husband has medicare he pays for , I can’t afford insurance so I self pay. my premiums with Obama care will be 635.00 a month, so do I give up my home or eating any ideas, Obama today said the republicans are holding americans hostage, the truth is he is holding America hostage, we don’t have a choice, if I don’t pay this I get a fine, yet others will get it free because they are not American citizens, I am in the class that does not qualify yet for ssi or medicare, our income is 200. to much a year for help. so you tell me who is holding me hostage, we haven’t had a cost of living raise in 4 years, we don’t have an employer to help with the cost, my house payment is less that my health insurance would be, I live in Washington state and we will have one choice for insurance, that is my choice, by the way my husbands secondary will be 300 a month , tell me where I can get that extra 935 dollars a month. I don’t have it will you send it to me or what .

    • dana8567 .

      The states with the highest uninsured are the ones full of illegal immigrants! So being here illegally doesn’t matter, we will pay for their healthcare too. This is not right, this is hard working Americans money they are giving away. This healthcare TAX will hurt the 40 hour work week. It’s just a new way of getting our money. Wait until these people find out that the Gov. Will decide if and how they are treated and not pay a huge portion. They shouldn’t be able to force this on us. And the IRS should not be involved in our healthcare.


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