With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Americans who chose to opt out of health coverage will end up paying a rather high penalty. For a five person family with a high income, the penalty can max out at over $12,000 in 2014. This penalty is expected to rise significantly in 2015 and continue upwards by 2016.
This year, the penalty for lack of health insurance is either a set amount of $95 per adult, $47.50 for children under 18, with a family max of $285, or 1% of your household income. The penalty is assessed at whichever option is greater, and is expected to increase substantially over the next few years.
The flat penalty in 2015 will rise to $325 per adult, and continue up to $695 in 2016, plus half that per child, up to a maximum of $975 and $2,085 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The income percentage penalty steepens in the following years, to 2% in 2015, and 2.5% in 2016.
There are some groups who are exempt from paying the penalty, regardless of their health care coverage.