During several recent meetings this question was posed a number of times by curious employees and a few their employers. It seems many folks are still unclear about the exemptions. Many also were unclear on the amount of the penalties.
Below is a summary on exemptions and individual penatlies published recently in a Kaiser Health News article addressing these FAQs:
Who’s Exempt from the Requirement to Have Insurance?
The list of possible exemptions is a long one. You may be eligible for an exemption if:
• Your income is below the federal income tax filing threshold.
• The lowest priced available plan costs more than 8.05 percent of your income.
• Your income is less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,105 for 2015 coverage for an individual) and your state did not expand Medicaid coverage to adults at this income level as permitted under the health law.
• You experienced one of several hardships, including eviction, bankruptcy or domestic violence.
• You are a member of an Indian tribe, health care sharing ministry or a religious group that objects to insurance.
• You are in jail.
• You are an immigrant who is not in the country legally.
Many also asked about the penalties. More from the KHN article:
Penalties: How Much?
For 2016, the penalty will be the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of income.
Although much of the discussion is often about the flat dollar penalty – $325 in 2015 — many people will be paying substantially more than that. A single person earning more than $26,550 would not qualify for the $325 penalty ($26,550 – $10,300 = $16,250 x 2 percent = $325.) So the 2 percent penalty is the standard that will apply in most cases, say experts. For example, for a single person whose modified adjusted gross income is $35,000, the penalty would be $494 ($35,000 – $10,300 = $24,700 x 2 percent = $494. That same individual would have paid $249 in penalties for 2014.
The penalty is capped at the national average price for a bronze plan, which the IRS announced was $2,484 for an individual and $12,240 for a family of five or more in 2015.
To read about other ObamaCare FAQ’s go to FAQ: What Are The Penalties For Not Getting Insurance?