Obamacare Penalty For Not Having Healthcare To Double Alongside Premium Hikes

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday.

To make matters worse, the penalty for individuals and families who did not have health insurance in 2016 will also nearly double as compared to fees for 2015 tax returns when revisions to the Affordable Care Act go into effect.

According to the IRS, shared responsibility payments will jump to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, with the family maximum not to exceed $2,085 or 2.5 percent income above the filing threshold. That’s up from $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, with a maximum of $975 per family for the 2015 tax year.

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The maximum payment amount is capped at the equated cost based on the national average price of a bronze level healthcare plan. Families and individuals who need to file for a return will pay penalty costs based on the amount of months they were uninsured, according to the IRS.

According  to the IRS, the national average premium for a bronze level healthcare plan on the Obamacare marketplace was $2,484 a year, or $207 per month for individuals,  and $12,240 a year, or $1,020 per month for a family of five or more.

After 2016, the IRS says adjustments to payments will be made based on inflation.

Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a mid-level benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally-run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.

An estimated 5 million to 7 million people are either not eligible for the income-based assistance, or they buy individual policies outside of the health law’s markets, where the subsidies are not available. The administration is urging the latter group to check out HealthCare.gov. The spike in premiums generally does not affect the employer-provided plans that cover most workers and their families.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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