On your tax return this year, Uncle Sam will ask if you had minimum essential health insurance coverage in 2014.
If not, you’ll pay a penalty with your tax return, unless you qualify for one of multiple exemptions allowed by the IRS.
The moment of truth appears on Line 61 of the Form 1040. If you had qualifying coverage for every month of 2014, you can check the “full-year coverage” box.
Otherwise, you’ll need to complete Form 8965 and identify the exemption you qualify for, or calculate the penalty for not having coverage and enter it on Line 61.
Penalties are based on household income, and no individual will pay more than $2,448, which is the national average price of a bronze plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Next year, the penalty for non-coverage triples. In time, penalty costs will be higher than the cost of coverage.
Since we entered a new tax year, penalties for 2015 are already starting to accrue against those without coverage. While the deadline for coverage effective January 1 has passed, open enrollment continues through February 15, 2015.
You have one month left to select a health insurance plan. (And word to the wise, don't wait until the last day of open enrollment. Unless you have a needlepoint you'd like to finish during the long wait times.)
If you’d rather pay for coverage than pay a penalty, call 913-333-3389 or 1-855-750-9441 to see your options.
To your health!