ObamaCare Tax Penalty Rates 2014 – 2016

The ObamaCare penalties for failing to purchase qualified health insurance start in tax year 2014. If a person was required to purchase minimum essential coverage and did not, she/he would only be required to pay a tax penalty for not purchasing PPACA coverage (if she/he files a U.S. tax return). In many cases, this tax is far less than the premiums that a person would pay for obtaining PPACA/ObamaCare coverage.

Q: What will my penalty tax be if am required to purchase qualified ObamaCare coverage, but do not purchase it?

Penalty Tax Calculations:

Tax penalties begin in 2014 and rise in years following. In each year, the tax consists of the higher of a dollar amount or a percentage of household income. For a given household, the tax applies to each individual, up to a maximum of three.

Following is the schedule of ACA penalty taxes:

  • 2014: The higher of $95 per person (up to 3 people, or $285) OR 1.0% of taxable income.
  • 2015: The higher of $325 per person (up to 3 people, or $975) OR 2.0% of taxable income.
  • 2016: The higher of $695 per person (up to 3 people, or $2,085) OR 2.5% of taxable income.
  • After 2016: The same as 2016, but adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases.

 Tax Penalty Examples:

  • 2014- Family of 2 with a taxable income of $26,000. Penalty Tax is $260;  because $260 ($26,000x 1%) is more than $190 ($95 x 2 persons).
  • 2014 -Family of 3; with a taxable income of $26,000.  Penalty Tax is $285;  because $285 ($95×3 persons) is more than $260 ($26,000 x 1%).
  • 2014 -Family of 3; with a taxable income of $50,000.  Penalty Tax is $500;  because $500 ($50,000 x 1%) is more than $285 ($95 x 3 persons).
  • 2015 -Family of 3; taxable income of $26,000.  Penalty Tax is $975;  because $975 ($325  x 3) is more than $525 ($26,000 x 2%)
  • 2016 -Family of 3; taxable income of $26,000.  Penalty Tax is $2,085;  because $2,085 ($695 x 3) is more than $650 ($26,000 x 2.5%)
  • After 2016: The same as 2016, but adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases.

For those buying health coverage on the government run exchange make sure to check the provider network limits.  Network limitations may cause additional financial penalties.   For example if a person needs health services while traveling out of their network area there are costly out of network penalties.  If coverage is available at all.

Many insurance companies still offer policies off the Exchange.  The premiums are about same with lower deductibles and more robust networks.  However, buying on the government’s exchange is the only way to get the subsidy.  Many people don’t qualify for the subsidy or it’s greatly reduced due to income.  

 

 

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