Starting January 1, 2014, most consumers must have health insurance. This may be through your employer, coverage you buy for yourself, Medicare, or Medi-Cal.
Consumers who don’t have health insurance may have to pay a penalty called a “shared responsibility fee” that increases each year up to a maximum amount.
2015: The fee is 2% or $325 per adult, plus kids.
In 2015, the fee is 2% of the annual household income, or $325 per adult, whichever is higher.
In 2016, the fee increases to 2.5% or $695 per adult, whichever is higher.
For example, the chart below shows the penalty with the maximum for an uninsured household of four:
If you’re uninsured for just part of the year (longer than 3 months), you pay a pro-rated penalty. That is, 1/12 of the yearly penalty for each month you’re uninsured.
The penalty is due when you file your taxes at tax time.
Remember, if you are uninsured you also pay 100% of your medical costs.
The Good News: Help is Available.
If you can’t afford either the monthly premiums or the penalty, there is help available. Call me at 626-676-3466 and we can discuss your options.