The Department of Revenue has posted the proposed 2011 penalty schedule for those who are able to afford the purchase of health insurance but fail to do so. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act of 2006 requires most adults 18 and over with access to affordable insurance to obtain it, and requires DOR to announce a penalty schedule for individuals who do not comply with the law.
The penalties for individuals between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are equal to half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Care enrollee premium as of Jan. 1, 2011.
For those between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL (up to $32,496 for an individual or $66,156 for a family of four) the annual proposed penalty is unchanged from last year. For example, an individual who is between 250.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL paid a maximum penalty of $58 a month ($696 annually) in tax year 2010 and is proposed to pay the same penalty in tax year 2011. The same penalty is proposed for a family of four with earnings not in excess of $66,156; however, the penalty is multiplied by two if both parents are uninsured.
Individuals with incomes up to 150 percent of FPL (or less than $16,248) are not subject to the penalty and are not required to pay an enrollee premium for Commonwealth Care health insurance. Neither is a family of four whose income does not exceed $33,084.
For those ages 18-26 whose income exceeds $32,496 or 300 percent of FPL, the penalty for tax year 2011 is proposed to equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Young Adult Plan premium without drug coverage or $72 per month ($864 annually), up from $66 per month ($792 annually) in tax year 2010.
For those ages 27 and older whose income exceeds 300 percent of FPL, the proposed penalty is equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Bronze premium with drug coverage or $101 per month ($1,212 annually), up from $93 per month ($1,116 annually) in tax year 2010. Again, this penalty is multiplied by two if two parents are in the family.