Skipping Health Insurance Could Cost A Lot More Than $95

2014 is the first year most Americans will have to either have health insurance or face a tax penalty.

But most people who are aware of the penalty think it’s pretty small, at least for this first year. And that could turn into an expensive mistake.

In fact, “the penalty is the maximum of either $95 or 1 percent of taxable income in 2014,” according to Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center. “For people with higher incomes it can be much more sizable than $95.”

Blumberg says that even for people with more moderate incomes, it’s important to remember that the flat fee penalty will be assessed for every family member who lacks health coverage.

“So if it’s a two-adult household and both are uninsured, it’s twice $95; $190,” he says. “Then if there are any children in the family that are uninsured, the penalty for each of them is half of the $95.”

If you’re uninsured and earn enough to be potentially liable for penalties, you have to sign up for coverage by the end of this month in order to avoid them.

Full article here.


Cover Oregon: Apply Now If You Want Health Insurance This Year

Time is running out to apply for private health insurance through Cover Oregon, the state's health insurance exchange. Individuals have one week left to sign up if they want coverage by Apr. 1. The final deadline is March 31.

Those who do not enroll through Cover Oregon and pick a plan will have to wait to sign up until the next open enrollment period starting Nov. 15, 2014.

As of Friday, interim director Bruce Goldberg said 134,400 people were enrolled through Cover Oregon; 42,000 were enrolled in private insurance and the remaining 92,000 were enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's version of medicaid.

Complicating matters, Goldberg learned on Friday that it's looking it's less likely the website will be ready for people to enroll themselves before the deadline.

Full article and video here.