Q Do I have to buy health insurance because of Obamacare?
Starting in 2014, according to the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), the vast majority of American citizens will be required to have health insurance or pay a penalty. This rule is called the individual mandate.
Here are the penalties for noncompliance:
- For 2014: $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 for a family) or 1% of family income*, whichever is greater.
- For 2015: $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 for a family) or 2% of family income*, whichever is greater.
- For 2016: $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to $2,085 for a family) or 2.5% of family income*, whichever is greater.
*Income is defined as total income in excess of the filing threshold, which is $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a family in 2013.
However, a penalty won't be assessed on individuals who:
- Can't afford coverage based on formulas contained in the law*
- Have income below the federal income tax filing threshold
- Are members of Indian tribes
- Were uninsured for short coverage gaps of less than three months per year
- Have received a hardship waiver
- Live outside of the United States
- Have a religious exemption.