The March 31, 2014 deadline for
individuals and families to obtain required health care coverage to avoid being
penalized has passed. The penalty to be assessed as part of the taxpayers 2014
tax return will be the greater of:.

  • 1 percent of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the
    tax filing threshold, $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the
    penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average monthly premium for a
    bronze plan based on individual factors.
  • $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty
    per family using this method is $285.

The penalty increases every year. In
2015 it will be 2 percent of your income or $325 per person. In 2016 it will be
2.5 percent of your income or $695 per person, and then it’s adjusted for
inflation in subsequent years.If you obtain qualified insurance after the March
31,2014, the penalty is calculated as 1/12 of the yearly penalty times the
number of months the person was not insured. If you were uninsured for three
months or less out of the year, then there is no penalty.

Insurance was required to be
obtained through the Marketplace exchange. While the open enrollment period for
getting insurance through the Marketplace is closed, people can still obtain
insurance on their own through their employers or through private entities. Employer
plans must offer minimum coverage for all full-time employees if the company
has at least 50 employees. The next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, 2014,
which will incur a penalty for not being insured from March through October.

Some individuals may qualify for the
special enrollment period while the Marketplace is closed. The special
enrollment period is 60 days following a “qualifying life event.”

There are people who are exempt from
the individual responsibility payment. Exemptions are given for the following

  • You were uninsured for less than three
  • The lowest-priced coverage available
    to you would cost more than 8 percent of your household income;
  • You don’t have to file a tax return
    because your income is less than the filing requirement limit;
  • You’re a member of a federally recognized
    tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider;
  • You’re a member of a recognized
    health care sharing ministry;
  • You’re a member of a recognized
    religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security
    and Medicare;
  • You’re incarcerated, and not
    awaiting the disposition of charges against you; or
  • You’re not lawfully present in the

There are also several hardship
exemptions for people in situations where they are unable to purchase health
insurance. Qualifying individuals will need to fill out an exemption
application on

Clients who have obtained healthcare
coverage through the Marketplace may be eligible for a Premium Tax Credit. This
tax credit is to make purchasing health insurance more affordable for people
with moderate incomes. According to, you are eligible if you:

  • buy health insurance through the
  • are ineligible for coverage through
    an employer or government plan;
  • are within certain income limits;
  • cannot be claimed as a dependent by
    another person.

Individuals who qualify can choose
to get the credit now and have it sent directly to their insurance company, or
claim the full amount when they file their 2014 or 2015 tax return.

May 27, 2014 12:00 am