Health Insurance Health Reform

The Teeth of the Individual Mandate

…are not very strong.  Here are the penalties individuals will have to pay if they don’t have insurance:

These penalties are not steep. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the cost of a single employer health insurance plan in 2012 was $5,615 and the cost of a family plan was $15,745. This means that in 2014, the penalty will only be about 2 percent of expected health insurance premiums. In 2016, the cost will be 12 to 13 percent of expected premiums. With inflation and taking into account that the exchange plans may be more expensive than employer plans, by 2016 the penalties will still be less than 10 percent of the health insurance premiums. Thus, for cash-strapped individuals, paying the penalty rather than buying health insurance will save them money (at least in the short run).

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