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Uninsured Californians To Face Rising Tax Penalties In 2016

Photo caption: A pile of money, July 23, 2014.

Photo credit: Pictures of Money / Flickr

A pile of money, July 23, 2014.

People will pay a higher premium for being uninsured in 2016.

People will pay a higher premium for being uninsured in 2016.

Under the Affordable Care Act, tax penalties for failing to have health insurance are rising to $695 per adult and $347 per child, or 2.5 percent of household income - whichever amount is greater.

A family of four who doesn’t enroll in a health plan is facing a penalty of thousands of dollars.

Covered California’s Dana Howard said that doesn’t make sense, especially since subsidies are available to make insurance more affordable.

“The average household last year received more than $5,000 in the upfront tax credit to help lower their monthly costs," Howard said.

Officials gave people a break last year: people who said they hadn’t heard of the penalty were given extra time to enroll.

But Howard said there’s no grace period this time.

“The deadline is January 31st," he explained. "If you miss the deadline, you will end up not having health insurance for 2016, and that penalty would then kick in.”

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