Health Insurance: The Good, the Bad, and the Fine

January 15, 2016

The good: You can sign up right now for quality, affordable health insurance. Most people will qualify for financial help, and get this: For those that do, the average amount of financial help when they sign up is $294 a month!

The bad: You only have until January 31st to sign up for a plan.

The fine: If you don’t have coverage in 2016, you could face a fine of $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) or 2.5% of your income — whichever is more. Yikes!

Why don’t we take a look at the math to see what that actually means?

Let’s say a family has 2 married adults and 2 children, and has an income of $55,000 a year. No one in the family has insurance.

$695 x 2 adults = $1,390

$347.50 x 2 children = $695

$1,390 + $695 = $2,085

This family would pay a fine of $2,085 for not having health insurance.

Okay, now let’s say a household contains 2 uninsured married adults and has an income of $80,000 per year.

Household income: $80,000

Tax filing threshold: $20,600

$80,000 – $20,600 = $59,400 of income is subject to the fine

2.5% of $54,400 = $1,485 ($695 x 2 adults = $1,390, which is less than 2.5% of their income)

This family would pay a fine of $1,485 for not having health insurance.

The fine is taken out of your tax refund. In some unique cases, you may not have to pay the fine.

But with financial help available, you might as well take a look at your options! Ready to get started?

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