As Affordable Care Act tax penalty increases, opinions remain mixed

Though policy experts say the Affordable Care Act provision requiring most Americans to get health insurance or face a tax penalty is necessary to making the health care law work, others worry that it compounds problems for households that are already facing financial challenges.

During the third year of open enrollment through, 12.7 million Americans signed up for health insurance through the government marketplace, including more than 290,000 Missourians — an increase of 78,000 over 2015.

Kevin Counihan, the CEO of, said reminders about the tax penalty were part of the enrollment uptick.

This year, the penalty amounted to the greater of 2 percent of adjusted household income or $325 per adult and $162.50 for children. Next year, it will climb to 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child.

Still, health policy experts say many Americans remain unaware of the penalty. In 2014, some 7.9 million taxpayers were assessed the penalty.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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