Effective from April 1, 2014, the federal government has announced it will penalize every uninsured American with an estimated fine of $95 per year. This rate is stated to be the minimum in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. If you think the amount is too small to worry about, then you should learn that this is set just for single adults who are earning $19,500 a year. For individuals and families who earn more than this, they could end up paying thousands of dollars if they do not enroll themselves in a health insurance program.
The deadline is over, but what uninsured Americans need to learn is that it’s never too late. You can still get insured and save thousands of dollars. This penalty will double in 2015 and increase every year from then onwards. Since the law has been passed, there have been many advertising efforts made to educate people on the importance and benefits of getting health insurance. It is an attempt by the government to make people sign-up for insurance. Many people still believe that buying health insurance is stupid and costly because they don’t need it.
Case in point: A 29 year old freelance sales representative said that the amount of penalty he faces is not his concern. What he is concerned about is being forced into taking insurance when he feels otherwise. He says that he is young and fit, and does not need any insurance. If there is an emergency, he’d simply pay the hospital bills rather than paying for insurance every year.
He also said that he knows many community members who feel the same about signing up for health insurance and if he is being charged with a penalty, he will simply not pay it because it is not fair.
Any individual who does not opt for insurance will be charged with as little as $95 to as much as $3,600, which will be deducted from his 2014 annual tax refund. And for families, this deduction will increase depending on the age and number of people in a household. This is the job of IRS, and it will make sure that every individual who is not insured pays the tax. Seems like the citizens of the U.S. don’t really have a choice.
Though there are some exceptions to this penalty; people with low income, religious differences of opinion, and those who get uninsured for a short period of time will either be exempted from this penalty or will be given more time to sign up.
People still feel that paying 1% of their yearly income is a very low penalty, but what they don’t realize is that this penalty will start increasing beginning in 2015. This law is not being taken too seriously by the people, maybe because they are yet to face the penalty. By passing this law, the government wants to ensure that every U.S. citizen is insured and protected.