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The least popular feature of ObamaCare is about to become a whole lot less fun. As we head into 2015, the individual mandate dictating that all individuals purchase health insurance or else is ramping up with increased penalties.
In 2014, the penalty was $95 per person, or 1% of yearly household income, whichever was higher, to a maximum of the national average cost of an ObamaCare “Bronze” plan. Of course, this means that if you live in an area where premiums are below the national average, it could cost you more not to buy insurance at all than it would to opt into ObamaCare.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average premium for a Bronze plan this year was $163 a month, meaning that the penalty would max out at $1,956 a year. Premiums are expected to increase significantly next year, and penalties along with them.
In 2015, the costs of opting out of ObamaCare are going to jump dramatically. The penalty (which Healthcare.gov continues to call a penalty, despite the administration’s successful argument before the Supreme Court that it is really a tax) will rise to $325 per person, or 2 percent of income. This means that costs per person could rise as much as 242 percent in one year for people who simply don’t think ObamaCare is a good deal for them.
In short, the government is going to charge you what could amount to thousands of dollars for the sin of not buying the products they tell you to buy.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a bill to delay the ObamaCare individual mandate, garnering the support of 27 House Democrats, but the bill was promptly killed in the Harry Reid-controlled Senate. But next year, Harry Reid will no longer be Majority Leader, and Republicans have a real chance of building bipartisan support to roll back one of the worst features of president Obama’s signature law.