What are the penalties if I don’t sign up?
The penalties go up per year. For individuals in 2014, it is a flat fee of $95 or 1% of your income (whichever is higher) to a maximum of $285. In 2015, it goes up to $325 or 2% of your income and topping out at $975. In 2016, the flat fee goes up to $695 or 2.5% of your income with a maximum amount of $2,085. The penalty is capped at the national average cost of a Marketplace Bronze-level plan.
Small businesses with under 50 employees are exempt from penalties. They may continue to provide health care for their employees and receive tax credits for doing so. These tax credits are incentives but expire in 2016 unless extended by Congress. Their employees may seek coverage in the exchanges as well.
Will I be denied for pre-existing conditions?
No one will be denied for pre-existing conditions. This is prohibited by the Affordable Care Act. You won’t pay more for your policy, either, based on a pre-existing condition or have a delay in care.
Will I be cancelled once I become sick?
No. Rescission, the practice of cancelling a policy once someone suffers a major illness, will no longer be permitted. However, insurance companies can cancel a policy for fraud, misrepresentation of material facts, or non-payment of premium.
How are the subsidies applied?
You can get premium tax credits applied to your monthly insurance premiums or you can get a cost-sharing subsidy which lowers your part of the cost for deductibles, copays and coinsurance.