Do I have to buy health insurance?
A: If you are currently living in Utah and uninsured, then yes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, all U.S. citizens will be required to have health insurance or pay the penalty. The penalty for 2014 is $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, $285 for families, or 1 percent of annual household income, whichever is greater. There are certain exceptions: religious affiliation, membership to an Indian tribe, citizens living abroad, and undocumented immigrants may not have to comply. And if you already have health insurance through your employer, you don’t have to worry about buying health insurance. Some hardship exemptions exist here is a list subject to change at anytime
The penalty increases every year. For example in 2015 it’s 2% of income or $325 per person. In 2016 and later years it’s 2.5% of income or $695 per person. After that it’s adjusted for inflation. This is subject to change at anytime though it looks like this is what the penalties will be.
If you’re uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured. If you’re uninsured for less than 3 months, you don’t have to make a payment.
You’ll pay the fee on your 2014 federal income tax return. Most people will file this return in 2015. Make sure you plan ahead and make any changes with the marketplace if you’re getting a health subsidy. You don’t want to end up with a tax bill
List of 14 Hardship exemptions
If you have any of the circumstances below that affect your ability to purchase health insurance coverage, you may qualify for a “hardship” exemption in Utah
- You were homeless.
- You were evicted in the past 6 months or were facing eviction or foreclosure.
- You received a shut off notice from a utility company.
- You recently experienced domestic violence.
- You recently experienced the death of a close family member.
- You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property.
- You filed for bankruptcy in the last 6 months.
- You had medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months which resulted in substantial debt to you.
- You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.
- You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage in Medicaid and CHIP, and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child. In this case, you do not have the pay the penalty for the child.
- As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you’re eligible for enrollment in a qualified health plan QHP through the Marketplace, lower costs on your monthly premiums, or cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren’t enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace.
- You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn’t expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
- Your individual health insurance plan was cancelled and you believe other Marketplace plans are unaffordable.
- You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.