ObamaCare fines rising in 2015, IRS prepares to collect

ObamaCare fines rising in 2015, IRS prepares to collect

Published December 30, 2014

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/30/obamacare-fines-rising-i...

Don't have health insurance? Get ready to pay up. 

The ObamaCare-mandated fines for not having insurance are rising in 2015 -- and for the first time, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service. 

The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year. But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year. 

The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest -- $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes), whichever is more. 

But insurance scofflaws face a sharp increase if they don't get covered soon. The fine will jump in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is higher. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures. 

The insurance requirement and penalties remain the most unpopular part of the health care law. They were intended to serve a broader purpose by nudging healthy people into the insurance pool, helping to keep premiums more affordable. But the application of fines in 2015 could renew criticism of the law, at a time when Republicans are taking control of Congress and looking at ways to undercut the policy. 

According to government figures, tens of millions of people still fall into the ranks of the uninsured. 

Unclear is how many would actually be assessed a fine. The law offers about 30 different exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships. Further, it's unclear how aggressively the IRS would go after the fines. 

Many taxpayers may be able to get a pass. 

Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties and 26 million will qualify for exemptions from the list of waivers. 

Deciding what kind of waiver to seek could be crucial. Some can be claimed directly on a tax return, but others involve mailing paperwork to the Department of Health and Human Services. Tax preparation companies say the IRS has told them it's taking steps to make sure taxpayers' returns don't languish in bureaucratic limbo while HHS rules on their waivers. 

TurboTax has created a free online tool called "Exemption Check" for people to see if they may qualify for a waiver. Charges apply later if the taxpayer files through TurboTax. People also can get a sense of the potential hit by going online and using the Tax Policy Center's Affordable Care Act penalty calculator. 

Timing also will be critical for uninsured people who want to avoid the rising penalties for 2015. 

That's because Feb. 15 is the last day of open enrollment under the health law. After that, only people with special circumstances can sign up. But just 5 percent of uninsured people know the correct deadline, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. 

"We could be looking at a real train wreck after Feb. 15," said Stan Dorn, a health policy expert at the nonpartisan Urban Institute. "People will file their tax returns and learn they are subject to a much larger penalty for 2015, and they can do absolutely nothing to avoid that." 

In a decision that allowed Obama's law to advance, the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the coverage requirement and its accompanying fines were a constitutionally valid exercise of Congress' authority to tax. 

Sensitive to political backlash, supporters of the health care law have played down the penalties in their sign-up campaigns. But stressing the positive -- such as the availability of financial help and the fact that insurers can no longer turn away people with health problems -- may be contributing to the information gap about the penalties. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Views: 513

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

"Destroying the New World Order"

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE SITE!

mobile page

12160.info/m

12160 Administrators

 

TOP CONTENT THIS WEEK

Latest Activity

Patrick C Conway favorited rlionhearted_3's photo
1 hour ago
Patrick C Conway favorited rlionhearted_3's photo
1 hour ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on Bob Renner's photo
6 hours ago
Ragnarok posted videos
8 hours ago
Doc Vega commented on Bob Renner's photo
Thumbnail

Brainwashing and Stockholm Syndrome is the way

"Nope, the dumbass syndrome is more widespread than the fake virus, unfortunately."
8 hours ago
Doc Vega favorited Bob Renner's photo
9 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Central Scrutinizer's photo
9 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Bob Renner's photo
9 hours ago
Doc Vega favorited Central Scrutinizer's photo
9 hours ago
Doc Vega posted a blog post

19, April 1775 Beginning of the Revolutionary War

On this day in history, 19, April 1775 events leading to the War of Independence for the 13…See More
9 hours ago
Burbia commented on Burbia's group The Comment Section is Closed
"The comment section here is aware of the woke agenda. Just about every comment is calling out the…"
10 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited rlionhearted_3's photo
14 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer posted videos
14 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited rlionhearted_3's photo
14 hours ago
rlionhearted_3 posted photos
14 hours ago
Patrick C Conway favorited Bob Renner's photo
15 hours ago
Patrick C Conway favorited Bob Renner's photo
15 hours ago
Patrick C Conway favorited rlionhearted_3's photo
15 hours ago
Patrick C Conway favorited Central Scrutinizer's photo
15 hours ago
Patrick C Conway favorited Central Scrutinizer's photo
15 hours ago

© 2021   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2019 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted