The deadline for Obamacare is right around the corner, and the likely hood of people signing up isn't looking good. Those of you opting out, better be ready for penalties.
Only 2.25% Montana residents have signed up under the new health mandate. And reports say nationally, 34% of those who have yet to sign up, don't plan to do so. The biggest reason being money. But there is an even bigger misconception that those who don't pay, will only have to pay $95.
Karen Heisler, the Assistant Development Director for Rural Dynamics, Inc., says, "That's a minimum penalty you would pay if you don't have health insurance. So you need to know that's the minimum. It could be up to 1% of your income."
So hypothetically, if your making $50,000 in adjusted gross income, Karen says your fine could be as high as $500. And that's just for the first year. This is a phased in program, so 2014 will be the lowest penalty you will have.
In 2015 it will be raised to 2% and then 2.5 the year after that. And lets not forget, there's a flat fee of $95 per person and half of that per child in each household. Those fees will add up quickly.
Karen explains, "This is a critical point. Next year when they come to us to get their taxes done and say, wait a minute. Where's my other $600? We are going to be explaining its because you didn't go get your health insurance."
Her biggest advice is to at least look up the cost. If those monthly payments don't fit into your budget, Rural Dynamics, Inc. And their Tax Help Montana program will be there to assist you.
Karen, and the rest of the staff, can also link you up with local navigators to find out what health care options are available to you. Right now Montana has the second highest rate of uninsured adults, and its their hope to finally change that.