Federal fines will be placing more pressure on uninsured consumers next year
Health insurance premiums for those seeking coverage through exchanges in the United States are growing next year. For many consumers, higher costs may discourage them from actually keeping their coverage due to financial pressure. If they go without coverage, however, they will face penalties from the federal government. Next year, those penalties will be more costly, as they are designed to serve as an incentive to encourage consumers to purchase health insurance coverage.
Report shows that the average cost of federal fines is on the rise
The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new report that highlights the growing tax penalty associated with the Affordable Care Act. The report predicts that the average penalty that an uninsured household will have to pay in 2016 is $969, which is 47% higher than what they had to pay for going without insurance coverage in 2015. Consumers that are eligible for subsidies from the federal government, which help reduce the cost of health insurance coverage, will face a greater penalty of $1,450, on average. The maximum penalty that consumers will pay, however, is $2,085.
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Estimated 7.5 million uninsured consumers were hit with fines last year
Last year, an estimated 7.5 million consumers reported paying fines averaging $200 for not having health insurance coverage. Many of these consumers purchased insurance coverage in order to avoid future fines, taking note that these fines are becoming more expensive. With premiums on the rise, however, some consumers may opt to take their chances with fines from the federal government, as the penalty may actually be less expensive than paying a health insurance premium every month.
Those without health insurance have to worry about more than federal fines
When considering whether or not health insurance coverage would be worthwhile, consumers are being urged to consider the costs associated with being uninsured. Health care costs for those without insurance can be exorbitantly high. While insurance policies may be expensive, going uninsured may be significantly more costly for consumers, as unexpected medical issues can have a significant financial blow.