Financial penalties loom for those without health insurance

The open enrollment period to sign up for affordable, quality health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act will close on February 15th, and millions of people in the United States are still without health insurance.

The main reason: cost. According to a study conducted by Enroll America, while six in ten said they wanted health insurance, many claimed they couldn't afford it.

The same study showed 79 percent of uninsured adults did not know about the financial help available for people under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The truth? 80 percent of those who have already signed up received financial support.

SEE MORE: Can I afford healthcare and do I qualify for insurance?

New, affordable and comprehensive plans available through the ACA are making the risk of forgoing expensive health insurance no longer necessary, and can help a family save a lot of money in the long run. Coverage ranging from preventive care services to catastrophic coverage is now more affordable than ever under the ACA, and Americans can take advantage of this opportunity today.

Top preventative services covered by the Affordable Care Act

And not having insurance can make costs much higher. Americans without health insurance after February 15, 2015 might have to pay a penalty of either $325 a person or two percent of their household income that's above the tax filing limit ($20,600) – whichever is higher. Though some may be exempt, many will face this charge – a price that could cost them more than their health insurance plan under the ACA.

For example, a household of two married adults with an annual income of $55,000, the family would pay a $688 fine for not having health insurance in 2015. In 2016, the fine will increase to 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person. In addition to the fine payment, the family would also be responsible for 100 percent of their medical care each year.

There are millions still without health insurance and time is running out. Get Covered America is working to get people access to helpful resources and tools that provide information on the different plans and financial assistance available, so that cost no longer inhibits people from getting health insurance. Do not miss the opportunity to sign up now before the enrollment period ends on February 15, 2015.

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