Must I Have Health Insurance?

Wellness x Illness creative sign with clouds as the backgroundThe short answer is “yes.”  Under ObamaCare, everyone must have health insurance with very few exceptions.  If you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to pay a penalty.

But before you get discouraged, download HealthSpin’s guide Easy Healthcare:  ObamaCare to help make ObamaCare simple.

Under the law,anyone who doesn’t have insurance from their employer or a government-sponsored program like Medicare or Medicaid must have health insurance.  

But if you don’t have health insurance from one of these sources, you can buy insurance from a Health Exchange. Some states have their own health exchange and some don’t.  If your state doesn’t have its own heath exchange, you can buy insurance from

Surprisingly, only about 20% of the population will have to buy insurance from the health exchanges since most people have insurance from another source.

The penalty for not having insurance is 2% of your household income or a maximum of $325/person.  For a family, the maximum penalty is $975/person.  You’ll have to pay the penalty with your federal income tax.  So if you don’t have insurance in 2015, you’ll pay the penalty when you file your 2015 tax return in 2016.

The penalty increases each year.

There are some limited exceptions:

  1. There is no penalty if you are uninsured for less than 3 months.
  2. If the cost of coverage would be more than 8% of your income, there is no penalty.
  3. If your income is too low to file a federal tax return, there is no penalty.

If you’re young and healthy, you may believe that you’re better off to pay a penalty and not have insurance.  You want to remember that even a fairly minor health problem such as a broken bone or having your appendix taken out can cost a lot of money which you had not planned on spending.   Having insurance can protect you from that sudden financial crisis.

To help you make sense of your insurance options, HealthSpin is preparing Easy Healthcare:  Choosing an Insurance Plan.   COMING SOON!!!

We hope this post helps you Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!