Myth Buster: No jail time for uninsured

You'll find numerous blogs out there threatening jail time for the uninsured, but don't believe them. This is just another scare tactic to prevent health insurance reform.

While it's true there are penalties for those who choose not to get insurance, that penalty is 2.5% of one's income and the penalties will be collected by the IRS. Jail time is not likely. In fact criminal prosecutions by the IRS are rare. Of 156 million individual tax returns filed in 2008, only 100 resulted in criminal prosecutions for those who willfully defrauded the system. The penalty will only impact those who are wealthy enough to pay for insurance and choose not to pay. The intent is that this penalty will be used to pay for the medical needs of those who choose not to get insurance.