December 15th came and went. This was the deadline for signing up for health insurance plans private or government subsided that would begin January 1st, 2015. However, the open enrollment period for 2015 is still ongoing until February 15th, 2015. Sign up for health insurance before Valentines Day to get health insurance on March 1st, 2015 and to avoid tax penalties that will increase each year.
Whether you have a job that provides health insurance or not, you are required to buy health insurance. Here is what happens when you don’t have health insurance.
Penalties and Exemptions
According to Health Care.Gov, there are 2 ways to determine the penalty you pay if you are uninsured. The penalty will be assessed as either a flat fee or a percentage of the income for your household. Whichever one is higher is the amount you will pay.
Penalty for 2014
If you did not have health insurance during any month in 2014, the penalty you will pay when you file your taxes for this year will be 1% of your annual household salaries. The flat fee for 2014 is $95 per adult and ½ that for each child under age 18.
Penalty for 2015
In 2015, the penalty for not having health insurance is 2% of annual household salaries, or $325 per adult, with ½ that for each child under age 18. Avoid the penalty for 2015 taxes by signing up for health insurance before February 15th, 2015.
Penalties After 2015
After 2015, the penalty for not having insurance coverage is 2.5% of your household salaries, or $695 per person, including children.
How You Pay
The federal government cannot send you a bill for your health insurance penalties. It cannot issue liens or levies, either. However, for those who count on a tax refund check, they will find that the checks will be claimed by the government as partial payment for the tax penalties.
It is not yet determined how the federal government will collect the penalties if the individual does not qualify for a tax refund.
Currently, the penalties apply in all 50 states. These penalties are officially called the “Shared Responsibility Tax”.
If you have a household income over $10,000, you have to pay the fee. To try to get an exemption, you need to fill out an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Your application will be reviewed to see if you qualify for an exemption.
If you are in jail, are an illegal immigrant, a Native American, or recently encountered a hardship such as eviction or domestic violence, you might be exempt from having to have health insurance.
Signing Up For Health Insurance
There is an open enrollment period for health insurance in 2015 ending February 15, 2015, just as there is for Medicare. If you miss the open enrollment period, you may pay a penalty for not being insured between then and the next open enrollment period.
If your circumstances change, such as marriage, divorce, job loss, or adding a child, you can apply for health insurance.
Contact Ron Hettler today to discuss your options!