Information Regarding the Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate

As you may be aware, the employer mandate under the 2010 Affordable Care Act was delayed last month until January 2015. However, the individual mandate is still scheduled to take effect starting in 2014. On Tuesday, August 27, the Obama administration released final rules regarding the individual mandate that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay fines. The final regulations detail the penalties incurred for not carrying health insurance, as well as who might be exempt.

The Penalties

Starting in 2014, an individual that fails to enroll in a health insurance program must pay a penalty of $95 per year, or 1 percent of their income, whichever is bigger. The penalty will increase in 2015 to $235, or 2 percent of their income, and in 2016 to $695 or 2.5 percent of income.

The Exemptions

Individuals with incomes below the threshold required to file an income tax return and those who lack insurance while temporarily unemployed are exempt from the penalty. Also, those with certain religious exemptions and members of certain Indian tribes will avoid having to pay fines.

Starting October 1, 2013, the federal government is setting up health insurance exchanges where people can go to purchase health insurance.

If you would like to learn more about the final rules regarding the individual mandate, please visit the Wall Street Journal.

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