People who think of not getting Obamacare might be in for a surprise in 2016. Uninsured households may face a hefty fine, according to new analysis.
The government has not kept the matter of the penalties secret, but the mandate is unknown to most Americans today because they seem to be uncertain as to how effective the fines are implemented.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation report showed that the 2016 Obamacare penalty is expected to cost uninsured households an average of $969, a 47 percent rise from the 2015 penalty average of $661.
Households that earn too much to qualify for Obamacare subsidies will experience a more significant increase in penalty. The 2015 penalty average for these households is $1,177, and the fine will increase to $1,450.
Next year, the Obamacare fine will either be $695 per adult and $347.50 per child or 2.5 percent of household income. The maximum flat-dollar amount is $2,085 per household.
In 2014, about 7.5 million tax payers reportedly paid an average fine of $200 as penalty for being uninsured. That same year, individuals only faced a penalty of $95 per person or 1 percent of their income.
Considering The Costs
Analysts from the Congressional Budget Office predict the rise in penalty would prompt more people to sign up for Obamacare.
Kynect's xecutive director Carrie Banahan said they will disseminate information in early 2016 to remind individuals that the fine has increased.
"It might be significant for your household; you really need to take a look to see if maybe buying coverage is going to be cheaper than the penalty," said Banahan.
Of the 11 million uninsured individuals in the country, some 7.1 million uninsured individuals believe the penalties are still smaller than the cheapest health plan available under the ACA, said Kaiser.
Kevin Counihan, CEO of Healthcare.gov, urged the public to consider the costs they would suffer from the tax penalty.
"Your best option is to learn about the tax credits that are available and to visit HealthCare.gov to enroll in a plan that meets their needs, rather than taking the risk of going without insurance and paying a fee," wrote Counihan in a blogpost.
Photo : Daniel Borman | Flickr