We now must under the law have health coverage or face a penalty unless they meet one of the law’s exceptions, including financial hardship, defined as spending at least 8 percent of your income on insurance.
The requirement takes effect in 2014. If you don’t meet one of the exceptions and decide not to buy insurance, the penalty is 1 percent of your household income or $95 for each uninsured person in the household, whichever is greater, although you’ll never pay more than the price of the lowest priced plan on the exchange.
Households with income of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $96,000 for a family of 4) are eligible for premium credits. To be eligible, the insurance has to be available in your state exchange, even if you don’t purchase the policy on the exchange. It seems confusing but the actual website is easy to maneuver around.