March 31st is the Affordable Care Act Deadline, but What if You Can’t Afford Insurance?

For whatever reason you can’t afford the insurance available in the healthcare exchange affiliated with the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), well here’s your options:

1) Pay the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment, or

2) File for an exemption

If you didn’t know about the penalty here’s excerpts from healthcare.gov further explaining the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment:

The penalty increases every year. In 2015 it’s 2% of income or $325 per person. In 2016 and later years it’s 2.5% of income or $695 per person. After that it’s adjusted for inflation.

If you’re paying under the $95 per person method, in 2014 the payment for uninsured children is $47.50 per child. The most a family would have to pay under this method in 2014 is $285.

You make the payment when you file your 2014 taxes, which are due in April 2015.

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

If you pay the fee, you’re not covered

It’s important to remember that someone who pays the penalty doesn’t have any health insurance coverage. They still will be responsible for 100% of the cost of their medical care.

After open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014, they won’t be able to get health coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period, unless they have a qualifying life event. Learn more about qualifying for coverage outside Open Enrollment.

Now if you’re getting stressed out, or a little hot under the collar about this tax/penalty, and you can’t afford this due to a financial hardship or other reason, healthcare.gov has listed the reasons and steps on how you can file for an exemption to the penalty/tax that is assessed on all individuals and families that aren’t insured and actively participating.

According to healthcare.gov one reason for an exemption is, “You don’t have to file a tax return because your income is too low” Review the link below for more reasons and details on how to file for exemption:

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

To find out what qualifies as a Qualifying Life Event, visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/qualifying-life-event

What are your thoughts about the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment?

Do you find this option helpful and empowering, or is this option even more taxing on your life?

What are your personal options if you can’t afford insurance but also earn too much to qualify for government-assisted healthcare such as Medicaid and MediCal?

Share your comments and feedback. Let’s have some healthy dialogue. Knowledge is power. Learned lessons build wisdom.

~Natasha

Sources:
healthcare.gov

https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-coverage-outside-of-open-enrollment/

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/qualifying-life-event

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