Everyone should compare the annual premiums for the Obamacare bronze and higher plans with the annual cost of the penalty (the tax). As long as paying the penalty plus paying out-of-pocket for minor illnesses is less than the cost of the mandated insurance, only the arithmetically ignorant will sign up for the insurance.
The time to sign up is when an illness looms as a pre-existing condition. Obamacare's elimination of pre-existing denial is a good feature of the law, but the interaction between mandating pre-existing acceptance and mandating penalties raises the costs of insurance. It's a fatal flaw in the law that will discourage the young and healthy from signing up.
GEORGE F. STEEG