# It has been so long that I don't remember the facts and it's time to be on my game. What's the penalty for not buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and what is the income threshold for an exemption?

Asked by Judi (39621) June 28th, 2012

When we were arguing this 3 years ago these numbers were on the tip of my tounge, but now I’m having trouble finding them and some of my conservative friends are freaking on Facebook and I want to set them straight.
Ican you help a sister out?

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Oh crap. I’m on my iPad and I can’t edit the auto correct from neon to “be on.” please don’t flag this for editing until I get my answers because I won’t be able to fix it.

Judi (39621)

@Judi I fixed it for you via internal edit.

augustlan (47253)

I think Qingu just answered your question in Fly’s question right below this one.

augustlan (47253)

Penalty: \$95, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater, on individuals who do not secure insurance; this will rise to \$695, or 2.5% of income, by 2016. This is an individual limit; families have a limit of \$2,085. (from Wikipedia)

Subsidies: Here is a calculator; it varies by income:

http://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx

Qingu (21160)

It’s called a “penalty,” but according to Chief Justice Roberts, legally speaking, it’s a “tax.”

wundayatta (58492)

A rose by any other name.

Qingu (21160)

Just wanted to add to @Qingu‘s excellent answer a couple of other items.

The maximum penalty per family is capped at no more than 300% of the minimum penalty (e.g. \$695×300% = \$2,085) – This was stated but will be a lower max until 2016.

Children under 18 are assessed at 50% of the minimum penalty.

If the cost of the lowest available plan is greater than 8% of income there is no penalty for not having coverage. There are additional hardship and religious exclusions.

Here is a nifty little flow chart about the requirement.

liminal (7754)

Anyone have links to information about the various tiers of coverage and the estimated costs for the different tiers?

wundayatta (58492)
Qingu (21160)

Thanks, @Qingu!

wundayatta (58492)