Mar 9, 2017 - Health

For some uninsured, GOP penalty is higher than Obamacare's

Here's the data for 27-year-olds and 50-year-olds of different incomes who are uninsured for a year and for six months. (For health care nerds: It assumes they're enrolled in a silver plan.) It's important to also note the Obamacare penalty is paid every year someone is uninsured, so the total penalty someone has paid gets bigger over time. The GOP penalty is paid over one year only, no matter if the person was uninsured for 64 days or 10 years.

Data: Avalere Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
Data: Avalere Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

A key part of the GOP health care plan is repealing Obamacare's much-hated individual mandate, which requires people to pay a fine if they're uninsured for longer than three months over the course of a year.

The mandate was designed to get young, healthy people into the market before they get sick, which stabilizes the marketplace and keeps premiums down. The GOP plan replaces it with a continuous coverage provision, which charges a 30 percent premium penalty for a year if an enrollee goes longer than 63 days without coverage. Avalere Health has looked at how this continuous coverage penalty compares to what people pay under Obamacare for not having coverage.

Winners and losers: Generally, low-income, older people and people who are uninsured for a short period of time will pay bigger penalties under the GOP health plan. The penalty would be lower for young people, some wealthier people and the long-term uninsured.

To note: The Obamacare penalty increases with income and is prorated based on how long someone is uninsured. The GOP penalty increases with age as it is tied to the size of someone's premium.

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