Hello. I was laid off at the end of July 2014 which also ended my health insurance coverage. At the time I didn’t have the emotional capacity to care about getting insured and I’ve been un-insured since my layoff.

I would like to know if I will have to pay the penalty, and how much it will be if I’m charged with it. Will it be less since I was insured for the half of the year?

Also I have a question regarding getting insured for 2015.

Currently I am unemployed and only just started looking for a job. I decided to search for health insurance for 2015 but I am faced with almost $200/month or higher (according to my previous gross income 2013) when I don’t have the prospect of getting hired or earning money.

Do you know if there is any better option for me? I’m not sure what my 2014 gross income will be as I only worked until end of July.

Can you please help out?


You lost your job, so that qualifies you for a hardship exemption for 60 days starting at the period you lost coverage. You need to apply for that exemption at HealthCare.Gov and need a copy of your cancellation.

This gives you three options. 1) pay the fee 2) get Marketplace coverage via special enrollment 3) look into exemptions.

If you get a Marketplace plan you should understand cost assistance is based on annual income, not monthly. So make sure not to take too many tax credits. Considering not taking tax credits up front, and instead claiming them at the end of the year. We break down the details on all of that here, so make sure to check it out.

If you go with the fee, your penalty is based on your taxable income, for each month you didn't have coverage, minus the months you had exemptions for. It won't be more than $285 for 2014. However, it increases sharply moving forward.

You may also qualify for hardship exemption 13 "You received a notice saying that your current health insurance plan is being cancelled, and you consider the other plans available unaffordable."

What we suggest you do is get coverage in the Marketplace, base your income off of what you project to make. (Since you already filled out your application, simply update your income information). You'll see cost assistance reflecting the amount you project to make in total for the year, which will give you more affordable options.

If you make more than projected during the year you'll have to pay it back when you file your Premium Tax Credit form.

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Debra Green on

My husband was laid off on March 2, 2016 and his Company will continue paying for Health insurance benefits until June 1, 2016. They offered us Cobra Insurance after that but the cost is $2700.00 per month. We are both unemployed at the time and clearly cant afford to pay that amount. We also have 2 children aged 15 and 8. I myself have a pre-existing condition (Diabetes). We do not qualify for Medicaid in the state of West Virginia where we reside due to our assets (owning a home and vehicles) and even with both of us receiving insurance benefits, which isn’t even enough to pay our monthly bills, we still make too much money. What are we to do about finding affordable Health insurance with out putting ourselves through bankruptcy?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

One option may be basing marketplace tax credits on projected annual income. Just because you can’t work now doesn’t mean you can’t work this year. Other options include short term coverage.

Kyle on

Obama care is stupid it’s an individual’s right to either be insured or un insured. A person shouldn’t be penalized for being laid off. You crooked #$#$#. I’m laid off and I aint paying s%#t.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

You are supposed to get free or low cost health insurance through the ACA when laid off. Call healthcare.gov.

Joan C.Tessema on

Really, since when I was laid off August 31st, insurance rates and deductibles are ridiculous. My unemoyment benefits covers my rent, $ 30 left over. I cannot afford health insurance and rsfuse to pay a penalty. The government has no right to tell me I have to have insurance.

CB on

You are right it is bs! My husband was laid off and I work two part time jobs. We now have to pay almost 400 dollars in fines because we weren’t insured. I tried to get obamacare and it was too expensive because we worked. Not once did we need medical care. I can’t wait until Trump fixes this it’s insane! But people who never worked are covered!

ObamaCareFacts.com on

I talked to two people in the last 24 hours who either almost died or lost a loved one and in both cases ObamaCare “saved their life”. This is to say, the cost increases stink, but dying in the street is pretty bad too. The insurers keep costs down by dropping coverage and excluding people. We can save money by going back to the old way, but we will have blood on our hands if we do this.

I think we can shoot for better, that is 100% coverage over time by addressing the underlying cost of healthcare and stamping out the fraud, waste, and abuse.

No easy answers, and for sure it is not ok that you can’t get coverage or afford it, but dropping others to lower your own bill can’t be “the best solution”.

pit on

the problem is, before obama care i could buy descent hi- deductible insurance for $80 per month, not the same type cost $300. so what yo have fixed?

Dharr on

These “FACTS” are false. Stop being ridiculous. There was no “blood on their hands” back then & there wont be now. Medicare & Medicaid are still available That what as used then & that’s what will be used now. No wonder our public is so screwed up.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

I really don’t know what you are talking about, but honestly the GOP just tried to defund Medicaid and lower cost assistance for seniors. The whole site is pretty much a giant list of confirmable and true facts. Not sure where you are going with this?

vicrob on

Except that when you have an accident or medical emergency and are rushed to the hospital, they won’t turn you away. So you, who pay zero into the system, get free care…and the cost of YOUR free care gets passed onto to your friends, neighbors, and other taxpayers in the form of HIGHER premiums and/or medical costs. YOUR free care is what makes the hospital charge MY insurance $18 per Tylenol pill, or $68 per box of Kleenex. The healthcare act is trying to balance out a very unfair system. Since we don’t live in a society that would put your injured, uninsured ass out on the street, this is the best alternative.

Kyle on

Communist BS! Obama can shove my penalties up his a$$.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

I hear you, but of course, if it was “communist” we would all be getting free healthcare rather than paying penalties. I’ll take the mixed-market ACA approach any day… although, since it is mixed anyway, why not consider single payer rather than a profit driven system which seems to be the root of your complaint? Anyway, just a thought. I’m personally happy with the ACA.

pit on

the problem is, if you charge a person fee for not buying, it means you should allow him to get help in case of needs. but if he has no insurance, and probably will be rejected by health institutions, or accepted and pay all from out of pocket. now is the problem: you charged the money , but not allowed to get medical help. i think it’s a big law issues.

Charles on

So, I got laid off in the middle of the year. How am I supposed to pay for required insurance? I checked and I don’t qualify for the medicaid expansion currently because my “Annual income will still be too high” How am I supposed to pay insurance premiums if I have no money coming in?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Medicaid isn’t based on annual income alone, so you can reapply based on monthly income. But that aside, it can be tricky when you had a high paying job and then have no work. This means your tax credits wont be generous, but you will still be required to get coverage. This is essentially a “sticking point” of the law and why we need single payer or a public option.

MK on

Laid off and I’m not paying a single f**king fee for not having insurance, I’m 30 years old.

Erin on

Apply for a hardship exemption through healthcare.gov, you’ll likely qualify. Also, if your income for the year is below the filing threshold, then you are automatically exempt from owing the fee for not having insurance even if you file in order to get other refundable tax credits you may be eligible for. If your state has expanded Medicaid, then you’d be eligible for Medicaid at no cost to you, if it hasn’t then being denied also exempts you from owing the fee for not having insurance (assuming your income is below 138% of the FPL when you go to file your taxes). Just keep your denial letter with your other tax related documentation in case you get audited.