Tags: Healthcare Reform | obamacare | penalties | taxes | enrollment | deadline

Obamacare Tax Penalty Becoming Focus of Sign-up Efforts

By    |   Tuesday, 20 January 2015 09:53 AM

Consumer groups working sign up more people for Obamacare are switching their messaging from simply encouraging enrollment to reminding those who haven't about the tax fines they will incur, Politico reported.

As the Feb. 15 deadline for enrollment draws near, they are urging those who have yet to participate to reconsider, noting the tax penalty associated with not having care, Politico said.

"The idea of paying a tax penalty doesn’t really sit well with people," said Erin Hemlin, who serves as healthcare campaign director for an Obamacare sign-up outreach called Young Invincibles.

"We’ve seen it really is a big motivator … especially for young people," Hemlin told Politico, noting they will push those buttons as the deadline gets closer.

Other groups also said they would switch messaging strategy, including those running California's state exchange, Covered California, which has dubbed the fees a "shared responsibility payment."

About 217,000 new enrollees have signed up there in the new year, the Los Angeles Times said.

Noted the group's CEO Peter Lee, bluntly, according to CNBC: "Don't 'p---' away your money by failing to get covered!"

Some groups told Politico that many consumers still don't realize the fines will be attached because most of the talk has focused on the positive aspect of the law with subsidies. Now, Enroll America president Anne Filipic told Politico that this message may be front and center as the group attempts to reach out once again to those who have not made a final decision to sign up.

Some consumers, however, may also be penalized by the IRS this year for receiving too much government help on their 2014 insurance plans, the Los Angeles Times said of one of the law's most criticized features.

"Experts project that 40 percent to 50 percent of families that qualified for financial assistance might have to repay some portion because their actual household income for 2014 was higher than what they estimated during enrollment.

"Those repayments could range from a relatively small amount to thousands of dollars in some cases," the Times wrote.

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Consumer groups working to sign more people up for Obamacare before the Feb. 15 enrollment deadline are increasingly reminding those who haven't yet enrolled about the tax fines they will incur, Politico reported.
obamacare, penalties, taxes, enrollment, deadline
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 09:53 AM
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