Prepare for penalties if you don’t have health insurance

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Do you have health insurance?
If you have health insurance, it means you can most likely afford it, or it is offered through your employer.
However, if you are like many Americans, and have yet to either find your own health insurance policy or sign up through your employer, be prepared for fines when you file your 2014 taxes in 2015.
This coming year will be the first tax filing season to incur penalties for those who went without health insurance during 2014.
According to, the fine for not having insurance during the 2014 tax year will be either 1 percent of your income, or $95 per uninsured adult and $47.50 for each uninsured child younger than 18, whichever is higher. If you fail to have health insurance in the 2015 tax year that fine will increase to 2 percent of your income, or $325 per uninsured adult and $162.50 for each uninsured child, whichever is higher.
However, there are exemptions that may qualify some for a waiver on the penalties for qualifying taxpayers.
It becomes a bit complicated on how the waivers work, but tax professionals and tax filing websites will be able to help taxpayers find the best route.
It may seem unfair to penalize hard working people who contribute to society, but at the same time health care is essential to ensuring our citizens stay healthy and productive.
Timing to secure a waiver will be a factor. According to some news outlets, only five percent of the American population is aware of the deadline for open enrollment. In order to complete open enrollment outlined in the new healthcare law, the process citizens have until Feb. 15.
There are special circumstances that will allow new enrollees to signup after the deadline, but to be safe be sure to have insurance secured before that date.

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