What if I Don't Buy Insurance?


What If I Don't Buy Insurance?

The government won't make you buy health insurance.  However, if you don't have insurance, and you choose not to buy some, the government will assess a penalty on you at tax time.

The penalty tax will be phased in from 2014 to 2016.  The minimum per-person penalty in 2014 will be $95, will rise to $325 per person in 2015, and $695 per person in 2016.  The penalty will be up to three times (3X) those amounts per family, even if there are more than three family members.

Individuals who make less than $9,500, and married persons filing jointly with a spouse who make less than $19,000, will be exempt from paying the penalty.  

When fully phased in, the penalty will be 2.5% of household income that exceeds those thresholds.  So as incomes increase, so do the penalties.  For example, a couple that makes $100,000 a year might pay approximately $2,025 for going without coverage.  

No matter how high the income, the penalty can never exceed the cost of a "Bronze" health plan as described under Qualified Health Plans.  Bronze plans are estimated to cost approximately $9,459 per year for a family plan, and $4,159 for an individual plan.