What happened in 2014 when I do not have health insurance in California? by Barbara Kempen | Apr 12, 2013 | Affordable Health Insurance, Health Insurance Brentwood, Health Insurance Pacific Palisades, Health Insurance Santa Monica In the most recent years I came across of many Angelenos who just could not afford the health insurance premium and opted out not to carry health insurance. In Los Angeles alone the percentage of uninsured is 25 %. Starting in January 2014, most individuals will be required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty if they don’t. Coverage can include employer-provided insurance, individual health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. The tax penalty phases in over three years and becomes increasingly severe. In 2014, the penalty will be 1 percent of annual income or $95, whichever is greater. In comparison to the health insurance premium this tax penalty is very low, and many expert are opposed to the low penalty amount By 2016, the penalty will be 2.5 percent of income or $695. This means that if you do not have coverage in 2014, you will be required to pay a tax penalty when you file your taxes at the end of the year. The total penalty for the taxable year cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a bronze level health insurance plan, which is offered through the health exchanges. All health insurance carrier will provide proof of coverage to their customers, Health Insurance Penalty Phase-In Schedule Pay the greater of the two amounts Year % of Income Set Dollar Amount 2014 1% $95 2015 2% $325 2016 2.5% $695 Certain individuals are exempt from the requirement to obtain coverage or pay a penalty: * People with incomes below the threshold required for filing taxes ( in 2012, $ 9750 for a single person and $ 27,100 for a married couple with 2 children * People who qualify for religious exemptions *Undocumented immigrants * People who are incarcerated * Members of Native American tribes Especially in Los Angeles, California, where the number of undocumented immigrants is high, it is to be analyzed what can be done to also insure this undocumented immigrants. In Europe these immigrants are responsible for paying the hospital bills and it can be as severe than garnishing their wages and confiscating their cars. If the health insurance exchange in California should work, than everyone should be a part of it.