Will You Owe a Tax Penalty Under the Affordable Care Act?

by Shawanda Greene

I am SO tired of hearing that President Obama is secretly Beelzebub’s half-Asian, younger brother and that Mitt Romney’s sideburns aren’t real.

It’s sickening! Enough with the pointless distractions.

Real issues haunt the United States:

  • The stubbornly high unemployment rate
  • The staggering national debt
  • The ridiculously expensive health care system

Since our elected leaders have done little to address the first two items, we’ll focus on the last one–health care.

Americans on the far right, the far left, and Ron Paul all have strong opinions (I’m sure you do too) about what increased government involvement in health care means for the nation.

But can we cast our beliefs aside and focus on the facts?

You see, the facts are absolute. We can’t argue about verifiable truths. (Geez, I hope I’m right.)

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is–like it or not–constitutional. Thus, the most contentious element of the law, the individual mandate, lives on.

Here on You Have More Than You Think, we like to talk about money. So I want to show you how the Affordable Care Act will affect your wallet…by referring you to an organization that’s done all of the hard work for me.

Walk through the easy-to-follow infographic provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Then, you’ll be in a better position to answer the question, “What happens if I fail to buy health insurance?” “How much of a tax…no a penalty…no a tax-penalty will I owe?

Woooow. Lookie. A decision tree.

This is gonna be fun.

Click image to enlarge.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Allison July 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Thanks for the info. What I haven’t figured out yet is whether this is going to affect Americans overseas covered by a socialized health care system in another country. It doesn’t seem to be on one of the opt-out categories.
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Shawanda August 8, 2012 at 7:05 AM

That’s a good question to ask. Americans who are overseas should be able to avoid the tax penalty, whether they can . . . I dunno.


femmefrugality July 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

In the final days did they put a consequence for not paying the penalty in there? Because a few days before it was written there wasn’t….they were just hoping people would do “the right thing” and pay it.
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Shawanda August 8, 2012 at 7:17 AM

It’d be like any other federal income tax you refused to pay. You would face additional penalties, interest, the government could put a lien on your assets and seize them. The most severe consequence would be jail.
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Jen July 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

And SUCH A DEAL these penalties are! Only $95 for a year of emergency medical coverage through our national health (Medi-programs). I’ll tell you… I pay a hell of a lot more than that for my health insurance. And I pay a boatload in taxes toward medical care for those who don’t or can’t do so for themselves. $95 spread over the course of a year. Do the math. Even a homeless man collecting recyclables on the street to support his beer and cigarette habit can afford that.
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nate20011@gmail.com July 28, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Jen, do you think the fine will remain the same forever? If you spend “a hell of a lot more” now for your health insurance, just imagine when everyone is required to buy health insurance. Static supply (health insurance & suppliers) versus increased demand (healthcare mandate) will push prices higher for everyone. That’s econ 101.

The only way this leads to lower costs is if the law of supply and demand is broken.


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