A $95 Fine for No Health Insurance?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article clarifying, in its analysis, the real effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – aka “Obamacare” in terms of the penalty for not purchasing health insurance.

Heavily-touted as a seemingly-innocuous $95 fine is misleading, the Journal writes in a March 29 article titled “5 Things to Know about the Health Law’s Penalty,” because it is $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is greater.

Granted, the Journal explains, income is not gross, but adjusted. Nonetheless, it calculates that a family of four with two earners making $100,00 per year would pay at least $800 in an annual fine for electing to live without health insurance – a far cry from $95, the Journal writes.

How would the government even collect the fine?  Through next year’s tax returns, explains the Journal. In fact, the penalty for not signing up for health insurance coverage in 2014 will result, in some cases, in adverse effects on 2015 tax credits, making the overall impact on families even greater.

So where did this “$95” figure come from? That’s for low-income families, the Journal writes. Not representative of most Americans.


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