HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The cost of being uninsured is going up. This tax season is the first year taxpayers will report their health insurance coverage from the previous year to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Affordable Care Act requires individuals to have minimum essential health insurance coverage, or face a monetary penalty.
"You could be penalized, and it would be taken out of your refund on your tax return," said Jackson Hewitt Manager Jimmy Ellzey.
According to the IRS, individuals who maintained qualified health insurance throughout 2014 will not be penalized on their 2015 income tax return.
Ellzey said those who fail to comply with the new standards will face a steep penalty for not being covered.
According to HeathCare.gov, you will pay the higher of two amounts: 1 percent of your yearly household income or a flat rate for each person for the year.
The flat rate is $95 for an adult and for $47.50 for children under 18, according to HeathCare.gov.
"It increases every year," Ellzey said. "It's just going to get worse and worse as far as penalties for not having insurance."
According to HealthCare.gov, individuals who don't have coverage in 2015 will pay either 2 percent of their yearly household income or $325 per person. In 2016 the rate goes up to 2.5 percent and $695 per adult.
Individuals who qualify for an exemption will not penalized. According to HealthCare.gov, you may qualify for an exemption if you are uninsured for less than three months of the year, the cheapest coverage available would cost more than 8 percent of your household income, or if you qualify for a hardship exemption.
To see a full list of exceptions visit HeathCare.gov.