These are some of the reasons why CNNMoney readers say they’ll opt to pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2014, rather than sign up for a policy in the state-based exchanges or through their companies.
“I would love to have insurance, but we just don’t have the money,” said Sandra Czop, 58, of Bloomingdale, Ill. “We need that $100 to put food on the table. We have no money to put gas in the car.”
Czop, a mortgage loan officer whose business is down 60% and whose husband is unemployed, summed up the sentiments of many readers. Though subsidies are available to those earning less than 400% of the poverty level, the premiums are still too high for many Americans.
For 2014, the penalty is either $95 per adult or 1% of family income, whichever results in a larger fine. (Income is defined as total income above the filing threshold, which is $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a family in 2013.) That’s still a lot less than premiums, which are generally $200 to $300 a month on average for a silver plan.
So a person making $50,000 would not be eligible for a subsidy and would pay full price — typically around $2,400 to $3,600 a year in premiums — for a plan. If he declined to get insurance, he would only be subject to a $400 penalty for the year.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education