- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

With five days left to sign up, the Obama administration has begun to spotlight the penalty some Americans could pay for failing to get health insurance under Obamacare this year.

Typically, the administration focuses on the benefits of coverage without resorting to more serious, pocketbook messaging.

But the latest email blasts to customers with HealthCare.gov accounts warn users to “get covered or risk paying a fee.”

The hit will come in two forms, the notice says: paying out of pocket for regular and unexpected medical expanses, and the tax penalty nonexempt people must pay under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

“The fee for not having health insurance has increased this year,” the reminder says.



People who went without insurance for a long period last year must pay the greater of $95 or 1 percent of their household income above the filing threshold this year.

For 2015, the penalty is $325 or 2 percent of income.

The enhanced penalty has some wondering whether the administration will announce a special enrollment period for people who miss the Sunday deadline for exchange coverage, only to realize they are subject to a tax penalty.

The Health and Human Services Department has not signaled that it will grant any leeway after the deadline.

 

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