After years of hearing they will face a fine for failing to have health coverage, that bill is finally coming due for millions of Americans this tax season.
The Obamacare penalty, which relates to lacking coverage in 2014, is spurring some of those people to sign up for insurance this year to avoid paying an even bigger fine next year. But not nearly every one of the estimated 6 million people subject to the penalty this season is taking advantage of that second chance.
"The penalty next year is ridiculous," said Shelby Robertson, a 24-year-old massage therapist, who was motivated to finally sign up for a health plan after having her taxes done recently by H&R Block.
Robertson knew about the fine for not having insurance last year when she had her taxes done. But she hadn't realized that for the 2014 tax season—the first ever for the Obamacare penalty—it would be the higher of $95 or 1 percent of her taxable household income.
When her return was completed, Robertson learned she'd have to pay $190 in Obamacare fines—quite a bit more than she had expected.