The Affordable Care Act has been in the news for a lot of things, most of them unfavorable. Now, just as Americans are settling down and accepting it, experts are cautioning that forgetting to get your insurance cover can prove to be very costly indeed. The reminder gains special significance now because the March 31 deadline that had already been announced for enrolling in health insurance plans is fast approaching. Americans who overlook this deadline will end up paying a price unnecessarily.
Healthcare experts expect Americans to flock to health insurance plans
As the deadline approaches, health experts are expecting that unprecedented numbers of Americans will flock to health insurance products in the coming weeks to ensure that they are conforming to the Affordable Care Act provisions. Only then can they avoid the penalty. However, this does not seem likely, say others. Over 40 million Americans lack proper health insurance and it is far more likely that despite last minute enrollments, quite a substantial segment of the population might still remain uninsured after March 31, they believe. This also means that these uninsured will be violating the ACA.
Are you prepared to pay the one percent penalty?
Those Americans who do not have healthcare coverage after the March 31 deadline may end up paying the one percent penalty. While the figure does not seem imposing, it could make big difference to your monthly purchasing power when a percent of your paycheck goes straight into Uncle Sam’s wallet.
According to the Affordable Care Act, the penalty for the year 2014 starts at a seemingly reasonable $95. However, this penalty applies only to someone who is single, has no kids and earns below $19,500 a year. If your income is beyond this sum, you are liable to pay a penalty that is one percent of gross income earned in the year less standard deduction and personal exemptions you are claiming. There are online calculators that help you figure out what penalty you may end up paying if you ignore the ACA provisions.
One of the most important points to note is that the penalty will increase over the years. Even kids are not exempt from the penalty and as a parent you may pay upto half the rate for an adult if your child is not insured. The government is hoping to increase compliance with the ACA provision with these penalties but the public is likely to be less than amused with these unusual ‘persuasion’ tactics!