by Lauren Mandel
Tax Day is quickly approaching, which means you (should have) filed your taxes and can cruise into the rest of the year without any surprises. Right? Hopefully yes, but for some people, there’s additional information you should know about your taxes and your Obamacare health insurance coverage now and in the future.
Did you have to pay the tax penalty?
If you could afford health insurance coverage, but instead chose not to enroll in a qualified health plan, you probably saw a fine appear when filing your taxes. This is the tax penalty, or the Obamacare fine all Americans face if they go uninsured. The fine is expected to increase every year, so next year, make sure to get covered instead.
Why does the tax penalty exist?
The individual mandate – the Obamacare provision which states all Americans must have health insurance or face a fine – exists so that people get health insurance before they get sick to avoid high out-of-pocket costs. While it might seem more affordable to pay the fine instead of getting health insurance, that can end up being false for most Americans. Even if your deductible appears high right now, it will be worth it in the long run if you get sick or need an expensive medical procedure.
If you still think you can’t afford it, there are new tools available that can help you better afford your health care. GoHealth Access is a health care tool that can help you complete your coverage, and it includes things like prescription savings, dental and vision discounts, and doctor lookup.
How can you avoid the tax penalty for next year?
It’s really simple: The easiest way to avoid the tax penalty is to get health insurance. If you have a qualified health plan, you will not face a fine for that year. Your next chance to get coverage is this fall when Open Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins again.