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What if someone does not have health coverage in 2014?


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March of 2010. One of the key provisions of the ACA is the individual mandate. The individual mandate requires individuals, their children and anyone else that they claim as a dependent on their income taxes to have health insurance starting on January 1, 2014. The insurance coverage can be provided through their job, an individual policy or through Medicare or Medicaid. There are exemptions from the mandate such as individuals that are poor, most Native Americans Indians, Illegal immigrants, people whose religion prevents them from having insurance coverage, members of a health sharing ministry and individuals who experience a short coverage gap of less than three consecutive months.


If in 2014 if someone does not have health insurance, and is not exempt from the individual mandate they face a penalty of to up to $95 per adult, $47.50 per child or 1% of family income whichever is greater. The fine can be deducted from an individual’s federal income tax refund. If that individual buys health insurance during the year the penalty will be pro-rated to reflect only the months that they did not have insurance.


If an individual does not have insurance, they can buy it through an agent, a broker, or online.  The government has set up an online marketplace that can be accessed at Once in the website you will be directed to the insurance exchange for the state that you reside in. The website was designed so that people can review all of the available insurance options. The options include four levels of coverage (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum) that offer a wide range of premium amounts, deductibles and possible out of pocket expenses. The open period for enrolling is from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

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