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Tipsheet

Obamacare Individual Mandate Fines Looming

The year 2014 is on its way out the door with 2015 just around the corner which means more expensive Obamacare fines and the IRS knocking on the doors of people who don't have health insurance to collect. 

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The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year. But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year.

The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest -- $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes), whichever is more.

But insurance scofflaws face a sharp increase if they don't get covered soon. The fine will jump in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is higher. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures.

Here's a chart from The Kaiser Family Foundation detailing coverage requirements, how to navigate requirements and the fines attached to a lack of coverage.

The individual mandate and employer mandate in Obamacare are two of the least popular parts of the legislation. Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said repeal of the individual mandate is certainly on the table as the new Congress gets underway. President Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that repeals "gains" made in healthcare. 

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