4 things to know about those who pay ACA's individual mandate penalty

The future of the ACA's individual insurance mandate — which requires people who do not purchase coverage to pay a penalty — remains uncertain as lawmakers consider a proposed Republican tax bill that would repeal it.

Amid this uncertainty, The New York Times took a closer look at data related to the individual mandate to identify who opts to pay a penalty rather than have insurance.

Here are four takeaways from the analysis.

1. Internal Revenue Service data show the number of taxpayers who paid the penalty dropped between 2014 and 2015, from 8.1 million to about 6.7 million. The report notes preliminary estimates reveal this downward trend continued last year and this year.

2. Texas and other states with the largest uninsured populations often have the highest number of people who opt to pay the penalty rather than purchase coverage, according to the analysis. The number of people in states that can claim an exemption from the penalty also plays a role as far as how many people in each state pay the penalty.

3. Generally speaking, the NYT found that taxpayers earning $25,000 to $50,000 annually were more likely to pay the penalty in 2015 than their counterparts in other income groups.

4. IRS data show the average penalty was $462 in 2015 and is $708 this year.

Read the full NYT report here.

 

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