NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

IRS Finalizes Penalty for ObamaCare Mandate

September 4, 2013

Last week, federal tax collectors finalized a rule to penalize individuals who do not obtain health insurance under ObamaCare. The regulation from the IRS formally codifies the fine charged to people without insurance under the health care law's individual mandate, says The Hill.

Under the law, most Americans must either be covered by health insurance or pay a penalty.

  • For the first year, the charge for not obtaining health insurance is $95 or 1 percent of household income.
  • The penalty will increase, though, to $695 per person or 2.5 percent of household income in 2016 and then according to a cost-of-living formula for following years.

There are, however, a number of exemptions to the penalty.

  • Americans who qualify for Medicaid coverage but live in states that have not taken part in the law's expanded Medicaid will not be charged.
  • Nor will people who are temporarily uninsured while between jobs, those who are opposed to having insurance coverage for religious reasons or members of Indian tribes.

The individual mandate has been a contentious component of the health care law and was at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case on the law. Supporters have said it is necessary to ensure that the law is sustainable.

  • That would bring it into line with a requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time workers offer health insurance or pay a penalty.
  • That provision was originally set to take effect next year but was pushed back to 2015 by the Obama administration earlier this summer.

Source: Julian Hattem, "IRS Finalizes Penalty for ObamaCare Mandate," The Hill, August 27, 2013.


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