In 2015, the Obamacare penalty is already scheduled to increase significantly. For those with no health insurance, these Obamacare fines could make for lousy New Year's resolutions since the budget may have to be adjusted in order to afford the Affordable Care Act.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, it's possible the Obamacare penalty only affects the poor based upon the way the Affordable Care Act was written, since IRS enforcement of this particular part of the law is restricted.
The 2015 Obamacare penalty is where the rubber really starts to hit the road. All Americans must report on their IRS income tax documents their health insurance status for 2014. This is when the IRS will begin to collect Obamacare fines from the uninsured unless they happen to quality for Obamacare exemptions, which includes financial hardship. TurboTax has created a free online tool called "Exemption Check" for people to see if they may qualify for a waiver.
For 2014, the Obamacare penalty is a minimum of $95 per person or one percent of household income if the latter value is greater than $95. The Obamacare fines will jump in 2015 to the greater of two percent of income, or $325. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, although that depends on your income. The Obamacare penalty is also capped based upon the average premium for bronze level health insurance plans, and these maximum fines are projected to be $2,448 for 2014, $2,570 for 2015, and $2,699 for 2016.
As an example of the Obamacare penalty, we will use the Tax Policy Center's Affordable Care Act penalty calculator. Assuming you are a single person making $50,000 for the year, the Obamacare penalty will be $399 for 2014, $824 for 2015, and $1,062 for 2016. In effect, being uninsured will cost almost half of the project bronze level health insurance plan for 2016.
Unfortunately, according to News 13, only around five percent of uninsured Americans know the Obamacare deadline for the enrollment period is February 15, 2015 nor do many know that the Obamacare penalty will be rising significantly this year.
"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."
Later in 2015, the outcome of an Obamacare Supreme Court case called King versus Burwell may derail the entire law. The plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case argue that the Obama administration illegally provided Obamacare subsidies to Americans in 37 states which refused to establish the state-run health insurance marketplaces as required by the Affordable Care Act. It's argued the Obama administration ignored the law by letting the federal government provide these subsides. If the Obamacare subsidies are taken away by the U.S. Supreme Court, this would cause insurance premiums in those states to raise dramatically.
The Obamacare constitutional debate strikes to the heart of the usage of words like penalty, fine, and tax. Politicians like Obama argue it's a tax penalty out of one side of the mouth, but from the other, they say it's not a tax because that would hurt Obamacare's popularity. Yet, at the same time, the Obamacare penalty is the only way to make the goals of the Affordable Care Act feasible, since the overall pool of people paying into the system must increase in order for it to be sustainable over the long term.