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How does the Obamacare penalty work in 2014? Consumer Q&A

By on May 17th, 2013
Filed: Advice, Health Insurance, Health Reform

Question MarkMost public polls have found a lot of support for individual provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, regardless of how consumers feel about the law as a whole.

That said, one of the things that some people find irksome or confusing is the “individual mandate,” requiring most people without employer coverage to buy health insurance coverage on their own.

Government subsidies will be available in 2014 to help many of today’s uninsured buy coverage. But those who opt not to comply with the mandate will be subject to possible tax penalties.

Last week on Yahoo Answers we took a question from someone who just wanted to understand the basics of the penalty. How much is it? How does it work?

The eHealthInsurance reply was voted Best Answer:

If you file a federal tax return and are uninsured for 2014, you will be required to pay 1% of your personal income or $95 (whichever is greater) in a penalty on your 2014 tax return. The amount of the penalty will increase in 2015 and 2016.

Remember that if you do purchase coverage for yourself in 2014, you may qualify for federal subsidies to help you afford it. People earning between 133-400% of the Federal Poverty Level (that’s up to almost $45,000 for a single person) may qualify for subsidies. Depending on how much you earn, the subsidies will make sure that you pay no more than between 3% and 9.5% of your income for health insurance premiums.

Image by Flickr user DorkyMum


About Douglas Dalrymple

Doug Dalrymple is a member of the communications team at eHealth, Inc. and has worked in the health insurance and technology industries for fifteen years. He works on communications strategy, content creation and management, project management, and corporate messaging.

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