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Not Covered by Feb. 15? Get Ready to Shell Out Some Cash

2/4/2015 10:14:43 AM


CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator

ST. PAUL, Minn.-The Individual Health Coverage Mandate is required by law through the Affordable Care Act. As of January 2014, nearly all Americans must have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The amount of that tax penalty is increasing in 2015.

"No one likes to talk about taxes or penalties, but the reality is both do exist," said CEO Scott Leitz. "MNsure does not set these penalty amounts, nor does the money from these penalties go to MNsure. However, we believe it is in our best interest to remind Minnesotans about these tax liabilities to make sure they get health insurance coverage before February 15, instead of a surprise at tax time."

If you don't have coverage in 2015, you'll pay the greater of these two amounts:

  • 2% of your yearly household income above the tax filing threshold. The maximum penalty using this method is set by the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  • $325 per adult, or $162.50 per child under 18. The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

In 2014, the tax penalty was just $95 per adult, or 1% of taxable income, up to a maximum of $285 per family.

"A sizeable tax return could easily be erased if a tax penalty is due because you don't have health insurance," said Leitz. "It's also important to remember that even if you do pay the penalty, you still won't have any coverage, leaving you responsible for 100% of the cost of your medical care. According to Kaiser Health News, the average Minnesotan spends $7,409 a year in health care services."

Minnesotans enrolled in a public health insurance program such as Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare or Medicare meet the requirement of maintaining health insurance coverage.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage began November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage - the highest percentage in state history.

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