How to Avoid Penalties Under the Affordable Care Act

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How to Avoid Penalties Under the Affordable Care Act

Peoria based Samaritan is one alternative to health insurance to avoid Obamacare penalties

Peoria based Samaritan is one alternative to health insurance to avoid Obamacare penalties

Buy insurance by Sunday, January 31, 2016 which is the last day to buy health insurance to avoid a $695 per adult and $347.50 per child penalty, or 2.5% of annual household income whichever is higher.  The only way to avoid the penalty is to have insurance that qualifies as Minimum Essential Coverage, qualify for a life event authorized by the U.S. department of Health and Human Services, or become a member of a faith based healthcare cost sharing ministry. (Faith based health care cost sharing satisfies the Federal health care law’s (Affordable Care Act) requirement that individuals purchase insurance or pay a penalty-tax (see 26 United States Code Section 5000A, (d) (2) (B)).).

Exemptions from the Affordable Care Act to Avoid a Penalty

There are certain situations that enable a U.S. citizen to avoid the penalty mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

  1. If you qualify for post January 31 2016 Special Enrollment Period for people who qualify based on certain Life Events.
  2. If you join a faith based healthcare cost sharing ministry that shares medical expenses instead of buying traditional insurance.  Ministry groups that obtained an exception to the Affordable Care Act law enable members some shelter not only from high medical costs but from penalties. Only ministries in continuous operation since at least Dec. 31, 1999 are exempt from the ACA. The carve-out was intended to satisfy what at the time were relatively small religious groups that argued that their non participation was a matter of religious freedom.  Check reviews and coverage details because these groups are not insurance and may have some risks.  Examples of ministries include:
  3. If you are eligible for insurance that qualifies as Minimum Essential Coverage.

Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

Any insurance that meets the Affordable Care Act requirement for having health coverage. If you have MEC, you don’t have to pay the fee for being uninsured (See, Minimum Essential Coverage). Examples include:


The Wall Street Journal

Calculating Your Obamacare Penalty

In 2016, a family of four with $75,000 in household income with two adults and two children at home may owe a penalty of over $2,000 if they choose not to secure health insurance.

Penalty Calculator





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By | 2017-05-04T04:06:19+00:00 January 31st, 2016|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Obamacare|0 Comments

About the Author:

Michael is Managing Partner & CEO of No World Borders, a leading health care management and IT consulting firm. He leads a team that provides Cybersecurity best practices for healthcare clients, ICD-10 Consulting, Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records. He advises legal teams as an expert witness in HIPAA Privacy and Security, medical coding and billing and usual and customary cost of care, the Affordable Care Act and benefits enrollment, white collar crime, False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback, Stark Law, Insurance Fraud, payor-provider disputes, and consults to venture capital and private equity firms on mHealth, Cloud Computing in Healthcare, and Software as a Service. He advises self-insured employers on cost of care and regulations. Arrigo was recently retained by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding a significant false claims act investigation. He has provided opinions on over $1 billion in health care claims and due diligence on over $4 billion in healthcare mergers and acquisitions. Education: UC Irvine – Economics and Computer Science, University of Southern California – Business, Stanford Medical School – Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Law School – Bioethics.

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