A pretty good summary of upcoming changes.
SOME of the highlights:
Taxpayers who didn't have health insurance in 2014 and who didn't qualify for one of more than a dozen exemptions were required to pay the greater of $95 or 1% of their modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. In 2015 this penalty rose to the greater of $325 or 2% of MAGI. Next year consumers who choose not to purchase health insurance can expect a penalty that's the greater of $695 or 2.5% of MAGI. For a family the penalty could top out at $2,085! Beyond 2016 the minimum penalty will increase in line with the rate of inflation.
In June the federal government released data from health insurers across the U.S. that were requesting a double-digit rate increase (or decrease) in plan premiums. Under Obamacare, any double-digit changes in health premiums need to be explained in detail to a state's Office of the Insurance Commissioner, with the idea being that there would be a system of checks and balances in place that prevent insurers from boosting their premium rates by huge chunks at a time without justification. Based solely on the statistics defining the magnitude of increases requested, 2016 could turn out to be a big year for premium hikes.
According to data compiled by the Washington Examiner, which took a closer look at 37 states and Washington D.C., the number of policies with double-digit rate increase requests nearly doubled to 231 in 2016 from 121 requests in 2015. Further, in 2016, 126 plans are requesting premium jumps of at least 20%, 61 plans are asking for a 30% hike, 26 policies are seeking as much as a 40% jump, and a dozen plans are after a 50% (or higher) hike. In 2015 we only witnessed 21 requests for a 20% hike, just nine requests for a 30% hike, and not a single request of 40% or beyond.
In other words, 2016 looks like it could be the first year where we discover just how affordable the Affordable Care Act really is.