WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The IRS said Tuesday it has set the penalty Americans will have to pay for not getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Under the so-called individual mandate, beginning Jan. 14, the charge for not obtaining health insurance will be $95 or 1 percent of household income, whichever is larger, The Hill reported. The penalty will increase to $695 per person, or 2.5 percent of household income, in 2016, the Washington publication said. There will be a cost-of-living formula for future years.
Not everyone without insurance would be hit with the penalty, which the IRS calls a "shared responsibility payment," The Hill said. People who qualify for Medicaid coverage but reside in states that aren't taking part in the law's expanded Medicaid will be exempt, as will those who are temporarily uninsured while between jobs, those opposed to having insurance coverage for religious reasons or members of Indian tribes.
"Today's rules ensure that millions more Americans will be able to get quality health care coverage at an affordable price, that provides health security for their families and bans discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions once and for all," a Treasury Department representative said in a statement received by The Hill.
Supporters say the mandatory participation is necessary to make the system sustainable, while detractors oppose being forced to participate.