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Health Care – How Much Will it Cost You?

It’s finally here. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is taking effect and it’s time to decide whether to play along and get coverage or pay the penalty for going without.

Penalties aren’t only for businesses without coverage, but for individuals as well. In 2014, fines will be relatively small – the greater of $95 for a single adult/$285 family maximum or 1% of your household income. By 2016, these amounts will have increased, reaching $695 for an adult/$2,085 family maximum or 2.5% of household income.

Compared to the cost of health care premiums (“affordable” is defined as up to 9.5% of your income), the penalties may seem small. It’s still a significant amount though, especially if you’re not accustomed to budgeting for health care.

Help may be available for those who can’t afford health care costs because of their low wages.

By October 1, Web-based health insurance exchanges (markets) will offer insurance choices to people who may not have other options, including small business employees, self-employed persons, part-time workers and anyone who may find the exchange rates more affordable.

Lower income individuals meeting certain criteria may also qualify for tax-credit subsidies through the exchange. At Patrick & Robinson CPAs we recently discovered an interactive tool provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that enables you to calculate estimated subsidies. Simply enter your anticipated 2014 income, family size and a few other pertinent details and you’ll get an estimate in return. No need to register or enter any identifying information.

If you find you need a CPA we’d be honored to help. Contact us at or 904-396-5400. Also, if you’re tired of the complex tax code we invite you to participate in our “Income Tax at 100: What Were They Thinking?” campaign. Send us your feedback; we’d love to hear from you!

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