Don’t have health insurance? Get ready to pay up.
The ObamaCare-mandated fines for not having insurance are rising in 2015 — and for the first time, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service.
The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year. But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year.
The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest — $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes), whichever is more.
But insurance scofflaws face a sharp increase if they don’t get covered soon. The fine will jump in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is higher. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures.
The insurance requirement and penalties remain the most unpopular part of the health care law. They were intended to serve a broader purpose by nudging healthy people into the insurance pool, helping to keep premiums more affordable. But the application of fines in 2015 could renew criticism of the law, at a time when Republicans are taking control of Congress and looking at ways to undercut the policy.