Tax penalties for Texans without health insurance

 If you don't have health insurance, you could be facing a hefty fine.
The fee goes up every year.

It's a chance to start the new year off in a health-conscious way.
"Some people have never had health insurance before. They need assistance, not only in picking the plan but what does that plan do for you," says Rodney Flores, site supervisor, HealthCare.gov.
With the end of open-enrollment approaching, a HealthCare.gov event was held Saturday at the Austin Enrollment Assistance Center.
Professionally trained and licensed assisters were providing free education to the community.
"For those that don't have email addresses, we set up email accounts for them. We do have Internet access here. We can help you complete the entire HealthCare.gov application online and get your coverage results immediately," says Flores.
They can also find out if you qualify for financial assistance, and help you sign up or re-enroll in a plan that meets your needs.
Now if you didn't have coverage in 2014, there will be some tax penalties.
"It's a $95 penalty per person with no coverage, $47.50 for a child under 18, or up to $285 per household," says Flores.
Or it will mean 1 percent of your household income, whichever is greater.
If you only had health insurance for part of the year then the amount will be prorated.
It's recommended that you enroll now, because the penalties go up every year.
In 2015 it will be a fee of $325 per person or 2 percent of your yearly household income.
In 2016 it will be a fee of $695 per person or 2.5 percent of income.
"Anyone seeking health coverage, we're here to help. If you have even the smallest question of, 'what is a monthly premium? what tax credits are available to me?' we're here to answer those questions,'" says Flores.

If you missed Saturday's event you can always stop by the Austin Enrollment Assistance Center at 2101 S I35 #121.
They are open Monday through Friday 10:00 am-8:00 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
Open enrollment ends February 15th.

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