ACA Fine FAQ

Obamacare is confusing. Here we answer Frequently Asked Questions about the Affordable Care Act’s tax penalty provision. If your question is not here please use the contact us page.

Q: Does the fine apply to me?

A: Maybe. If you have insurance through your job you are ok (assuming they don’t drop you because of Obamacare). However, if you go uninsured for more than 3 months during the 2014 calender year you are likely to be subject to the ACA fine if you don’t qualify for a specific exemption. American Indians, prisoners, illegal immigrants, expats living abroad or belonging to certain religious groups can get you an ACA fine exemption. Seniors aged 65 and over are covered by Medicare so they are exempt.

If you don’t fit into any of these you may be able to get a hardship exemption. Further, if you don’t even file an IRS tax return the fine does not apply to you. Even if you do pay income taxes ACAfine.com offers a solution to avoid the ACA penalty.

Q: When exactly is the deadline for obtaining government approved health insurance?

A: You must sign up by March 31st, 2014 to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. This falls on a Tuesday and is April Fools’ Day. You can’t make this stuff up.

Q: How much is the fine?

A: For the 2014 tax year, Obamacare penalties start at 1% of taxable income or $95 per adult whichever is greater. If you have uninsured children add an additional $47.50 per child. Depending on your family size, the maximum fine in 2014 is the greater of $285 or 1% of total income. For more details on the ACA tax go here.

Q: Why shouldn't I get insurance on the federal website?

A: Any IT professional will tell you and several have testified in front of Congress regarding lack of security on the Obamcare website. Even if you agree with the law, it is prudent to pay the $95.00 ACA fine versus the risk of exposing your personal data to identity theft. There are virtually no safeguards on the website and all your data is vulnerable.

Q: Can I get insurance outside of Healthcare.gov?

A: Yes, but the insurance has to meet the minimum requirements set forth by the individual mandate. Minimum essential healthcare benefits now must include the following services:

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency room services
  • General Hospitalization
  • Maternity & newborn care
  • Mental health & substance use or disorder services, must include some behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Rehabilitative services including related devices
  • Lab services
  • Preventive & wellness services including management for chronic diseases
  • Pediatric services which includes vision & oral care

Coverage meeting the above requirements typically includes:

  • Employer-sponsored coverage (including COBRA coverage & retiree coverage)
  • Coverage purchased in the new individual market
  • Medicare Part A coverage & Medicare Advantage
  • Most Medicaid coverage
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
  • Several types of veteran health coverage as provided by the Veterans Administration (VA)
  • TRICARE
  • Coverage provided to volunteers of the Peace Corps
  • Coverage provided under the Non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program

The following are types of insurance which definitely do not make the cut and therefore will get you fined for not complying:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Coverage for specific medical conditions, limited in scope coverage
  • Plans which only offer discounts on health services
  • Vision and/or dental care without medical care

Q: Should I just pay the fine so I don't have my identity stolen on Healthcare.gov?

A: I personally would rather pay the fine rather than enter all my personal data onto the government’s healthcare website. Healthcare.gov is a hackers dream. Remember though, you don’t need to pay the fine because they haven’t been able to successfully implement that aspect of the law either. The IRS can’t really collect unless you allow them to hold a tax refund.

Q: Is it true the ACA fine is not really enforceable?

A: Yes! The IRS cannot garnish your wages or issue a tax lien against you. Further, they cannot use civil or criminal penalties against you for failing to pay the fine. The only way they can collect the ACA fine is by deducting it from your refund. See the details on the best solution for how to avoid the fine completely if you don’t have insurance by April 1st, 2014.

Q: Where can I see the actual law to be sure?

A: This is direct from the legislation:

(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES- In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.

(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES- The Secretary shall not—
(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or
(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.

Q: If I get a job sometime after March 31st do I have to pay the fine because I didn't have insurance for 3+ months?

A: This is an excellent question. It is unclear but it would seem you would have to pay the penalty due to your change in circumstances. It shows the ridiculousness of Obamacare. If you are in this situation you should avoid the fine by adjusting your W-4 with your new employer.

Q: Will Obamacare be repealed? Are they really going to let this disaster happen?

A: It appears to be going forward although pressure is building since well over 5 million people have been notified that their insurance is being canceled on December 31st. The last straw was being lied to over and over again by Obama. It seems ACA is worse than anyone could have imagined. Check back for updates because the situation is still developing!

Q: Can the IRS take the fine from my bank account or paycheck?

A: No! The Internal Revenue Service was not given strong enforcement powers for collecting the ACA fine. The consensus among experts is that the IRS can only deduct the fine from a refund they owe you. You need to fully understand how this works to successfully and legally avoid the fine. Read more about the solution in order to opt out of the Affordable Care Act disaster completely.

Q: How can I contact my elected representatives regarding the Affordable Care Act?

A: Use the following tool to look up your congressman. Remember, they work for you and they answer to you! Tell them what you think about Obamacare and the ACA fine.

Locate your Senators and Representative

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ex: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500

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