There are increased tax penalties for those who do not have health insurance in 2016: The Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty known as the “shared responsibility payment.” A report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average household penalty in 2016 will be $969, which is a 47 percent increase from 2015. The report also estimates that those subject to the penalty include “75% of people who are eligible for premium subsidies.”
The deadline to sign up for a health insurance plan without special circumstances is JANUARY 31, 2016.
Anyone signing up between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will have their health care coverage start on March 1.
Consumers can sign up for coverage in a variety of ways, including enrolling online at www.CoveredCA.com, calling (800) 300-1506 to enroll over the phone or finding in-person help in their communities. In-person enrollment assistance can be found by visiting www.CoveredCA.com/get-help/local and searching for enrollment help by ZIP code or calling a SFCCC partner health clinic.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has developed an estimator (www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/estimator/isrp) where consumers can get an estimate of the amount they may have to pay if they do not have minimum essential coverage during the year. It’s important to note that the penalty only applies to consumers who can afford to purchase the lowest-priced coverage available to them, as long as it does not exceed more than 8.13 percent of their household income.