More ObamaCare Fines Paid Than Expected, But Most Got Refund

710,000 who got subsidies through ObamaCare have yet to file tax returns, while 9% (7.5 million) who did file paid $1.5 billion in penalties (although many qualified for additional exemptions). Below we do a quick recap of these two important stories.

More ObamaCare Fines Paid than Expected

According to CNBC about 7.5 million taxpayers who have filed taxes have paid the penalty for not having coverage. The penalty exceeds projections by officials.

The average penalty paid was about $200 per person, and in all $1.5 billion was collected by the Internal Revenue Service in these fines. However, officials stressed that “the vast majority”—85 percent—of people who paid the fines nonetheless ended up with a net tax refund from the IRS.

And Then There are Those Who Just Didn’t File Taxes, But Claimed a Subsidy in Advance

According to the Daily Caller IRS commissioner John Koskinen said last week that 710,000 who received premium tax credits in 2014 have yet to file tax returns or file an extension (extensions are filed with form 4868).

The Orrin Hatch $2.4 billion Myth

Although 710,000 non-filers with premium tax credits is more than expected, a statement by Sen. Orrin Hatch that the total amount owed in advanced tax credit payments alone could be $2.4 billion or more is likely over exaggerated. The Hatch statement comes on the assumption that the average non-filer would owe $3,400.

The Orrin Hatch assumption in reality makes little to no sense as 7.5 million in the above article collectively paid $1.5 billion (way less than $3,400). To owe more than $2,500 you have to have 1) recived more than $2,500 and then 2) projected a low income and then made over 400% FPL ($94,200 for a family of 4). Ask yourself how many families making nearly $100,000 didn’t file taxes? What do you think? Those who make less than expected are actually owed a larger refund.

This statement comes on the back of a Hatch lead hearing seeking answers on how 11 fake applications were able to re-enroll in Obamacare.

The Takeaway

Republican talking points aside, there seemed to be more tax filing issues and ACA related tax filing issues this year than expected. For those of us who want a better healthcare system (rather than to be elected based on the destruction of the ACA) the takeaway includes upping efforts to inform America about exemptions and taxes and efforts to continue to secure and streamline the process of obtaining and maintaining marketplace coverage.

Unfortunately those who paid the correct amounts are offset by the non filers, if not by those who didn’t file at all (at least theoretically, as we don’t know the amounts owed by non-filers).

It can be an uphill battle to figure out every aspect of the ACA , but understanding key aspects like the many exemptions and how to file tax forms correctly can mean big bucks in tax refunds and tax savings every year.

We strongly suggest everyone do a review of the 20 plus exemptions people can claim on form 8965, how to adjust tax credits properly on form 8962, how to save tons of money with an HSA, how to save money with subsidies, and how to get the right plan in the first place.

It seems like a lot of the tax woes from 2015 are related to people not understanding and utilizing tax forms properly, we have created simplified guides on everything related to ObamaCare and taxes, so crack one open, take a look, and become one of the people who saves money the right way in 2016.

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of,, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. is a...

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Background first, question to follow.
There are 2 of us with no employer coverage available. Our income will likely come in around 400% poverty level for 2 people. The second lowest priced silver plan available to me in 2017 is $1597.19/mo ($19166/year). The least expensive bronze plan is $1467.11/mo ($17605/year). If we assume that 400% of poverty level for 2 people in 2017 is $64080 then we get a premium cap of $6190 (64080*0.0966). Meaning we would be entitled to a subsidy of $12976, which would reduce the premium cost of the least expensive bronze plan to $4629/year.

Do I understand correctly that if we made $1 more than 400% poverty level ($64081 in this example) that the premium cost for the year would rise from $4629 to $17605. That’s an increase of almost $13k on one dollar of income. I can’t find this is addressed directly on any site, but what I do find, along with the instructions for form 8962, leads me to believe that my understanding must be correct. After federal and state taxes this would have the effect of reducing our average monthly budget from $4156 to $3075. That’s a huge hit for being unfortunate enough to draw an extra dollar of interest from somewhere. Does it really work this way, and if not how is the correct amount calculated?


You stole my money. I work more than 40 hours a week and cant afford coverage. My job does not offer it and the goverment says I make too much money for exemptions . 39k with a child in fl is too much. Im rolling in cash.


So true. I worked 40 hours weekly for 12 bucks an hour. I couldn’t afford insurance insurance through the unaffordable health care act. Then i got whacked with a 500 dollar fine which I truly could not afford. Thank God this socialist garbage legislation is getting demolished.

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