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What We Read Today 23 February 2015

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What It Costs to Opt Out of Obamacare (Louis DeNicola, MSN Money)  All Americans are required to have health care insurance coverage.  Failure to so provide subjects an individual to a tax penalty equivalent to the cost of basic insurance coverage.  However, there are a number of exemptions to this mandate.  From this article:

For example, if you belong to a recognized religious sect that objects to insurance coverage; if the cost of insurance is more than 8 percent of the household's income; if you are a member of a Native American tribe; on so on. (The full list of allowed exemptions is available at HealthCare.gov.) There are also hardship exemptions that can last for up to a year, depending on the circumstances. Use this free exemption-check tool posted by Turbo Tax to see if you qualify.

A word of caution if you're looking for a free pass. Some exemptions are granted when you fill out your tax return, but others require an application. If you plan to apply for one for the 2014 tax year, do so ASAP. The petitions are reviewed by people, not computers, and the approval process can take weeks. Your tax return must include the unique certificate number assigned when your appeal is approved.

This article includes some specific examples of the amount of tax penalty.  To do some quick calculations for various income parameters, see the next article.


How Big is the ACA Tax Penalty? (Calculator, Tax Policy Center)  This makes very easy the determination of the tax penalty for any specific situation.  The tax penalty caps for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are given on the form as well.



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