Question: I’m 27, single, and I have a decent job, but I’m definitely not making the big bucks. I don’t get health insurance at work. I had my own policy for a while, paying out about $150 a month but I never used it. I had to lapse it when my car needed major work. Anyway, I read where the Obamacare mandate penalty is $95 a month. How much more will health insurance cost?
Answer: In 2014, the cost of health insurance will be a lot more than the ACA mandate penalty. The annual fine for not purchasing health insurance under the ACA is $95 per person in 2014 (or 1% of taxable income, whichever is greater), $325 in 2015 (or 2%), and $695 in 2016 (or 2.5%). Thereafter, the mandate fine is indexed to inflation. The monthly premium for the benchmarked essential-benefit qualified health plan plan individual plan in 2012 is about $300 per month for a male age 26. It will be higher in 2014.
But, if you are like many of the young people under 30 who are just entering the work force, you have a below-average income. If so, you will qualify for either Medi-Cal or private health insurance with premium subsidies, which will make your health insurance coverage either free or highly discounted.