In January 1, 2014 the Obama Care individual mandate will go into effect, but what exactly does that mean? What impact might it have on you? Those are questions that a lot of Americans are asking. So, here are some answers that should help.
Defining an Individual Mandate
First, it’s important to be clear about what an individual mandate actually is. It is a law that requires individuals to use a certain service or buy a certain item. In the case of the Obama Care individual mandate, the item or service in question is health insurance.
The Individual Mandate and Obama Care
The Obama Care individual mandate for health insurance says that almost all individuals have to get health insurance before the start of 2014. If they don’t they will incur high tax penalties. Some people will be exempt, but exemptions will be rare.
So, exactly what penalties could you incur for not complying with Obama Care? Well, those who don’t meet the Obama Care individual mandate requirement and get health insurance by January of 2014 will have to pay the following tax fees per adult annually:
- 2014 – $95
- 2015 – $325
- 2016 – $695
The fees will continue to be adjusted for inflation each year. You should also note that adults with uninsured children will have to pay half of those amounts per year for each uninsured child.
Some adults may be required to pay a percentage of their income annually for not having Obama Care health coverage, instead. That percentage will be:
- 2014 – 1 Percent
- 2015 – 2 Percent
- 2016 – 2.5 Percent
What you will have to pay will depend on whether the percentage or the flat fee would be higher for you. You will have to pay the higher amount.
What That Means for You
Since the cost of medical insurance can be high in many cases, you might think that it’s better to just pay the annual tax fee. Depending on your individual situation, that may be true to begin with. However, as you can clearly see, your fees are going to increase rapidly with each passing year. So, it is probably in your best interest to get health insurance as quickly as possible.
Finding Cheap Health Insurance
Luckily, ever since this new Obama Care plan was enacted in 2010, there has been a push to reform the way that Americans obtain health insurance. There are now websites where you can quickly and easily compare insurance benefits and rates. So, you should be able to find affordable health insurance. Many of those websites also offer healthcare-related resources. One example is the Massachusetts website called https://www.mahealthconnector.org/.
You should also keep in mind that you may qualify for cheap or free medical insurance, depending on your income, your location, and other factors. So, you may want to look into applying for Medicare or Medicaid, since having either one would allow you to meet the Obama Care individual mandate requirement.