The simple answer is YES or pay a tax penalty. There has been confusion about this lately because of the recent Obama administration's decision to delay penalties for employers who don't offer health insurance until 2015. The unfortunate consequence of this delay is that it will most likely increase the number of people who will be getting coverage on and off the exchange (Covered California), because they won't be getting coverage from their employer. So many people have started to fear this delay could undermine efforts to expand access to health insurance for individuals. However, all signs still point to the Individual Mandate taking effect on January 1st, 2014. The mandate requires every US citizen to acquire Health Insurance or incur a tax penalty. The penalty will be as follows:
2014: $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to a family maximum of $285 OR 1% of your household income, whichever is greater.
2015: $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, up to a family maximum of $975 OR 2% of your household income, whichever is greater.
2016 and beyond: $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a family maximum of $2,085 OR 2.5% of your household income, whichever is greater.
Beginning in 2017, the penalties will be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment. The overall penalty is capped at the national average premium of bronze level plan purchases through the exchanges. After 2014, you will most likely be better off purchasing Health Insurance coverage than paying the penalty.
Starting in October, you will be able to purchase plans for a January 1st, 2014 effective date via Covered California with a possible subsidy for persons making less than $45,960 individually or $94,200 for a family of four. You may also continue to purchase a plan outside the exchange like you can today. The major difference starting in 2014 will be that Individuals can no longer be denied coverage by Insurance Providers because of pre-existing health conditions.
Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information about the various Health Insurance options that are available. You can also get an Instant Free Quote by entering in your zip code below.