The Cost of the Individual Mandate Penalty for the Remaining Uninsured

Source: Matthew Rae, Anthony Damico, Cynthia Cox, Gary Claxton, and Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation, Issue Brief, December 2015

From the summary:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands health insurance coverage by offering both penalties and incentives. Low and middle income households who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid can purchase subsidized coverage on the health insurance marketplaces using premium assistance tax credits. Individuals who do not obtain coverage, through any source, are subject to a tax penalty unless they meet certain exemptions. The penalties under the so-called individual mandate were phased in over a three-year period starting in 2014 and are scheduled to increase substantially in 2016. A key area of uncertainty for 2016 is how much the increased penalties will encourage uninsured people – particularly those who are healthy – to obtain coverage, boosting enrollment in the marketplaces and improving the insurance risk pool. This analysis provides estimates of the share of uninsured people eligible to enroll in the marketplaces who will be subject to the penalty, and how those penalties are increasing for 2016.