What Happens If You Don't Sign Up?
Consumer Guide

Business Insider provides some insights. The health care exchange is open for every U.S. resident, but only the uninsured will face penalties for skipping out. If you are enrolled in your employer's health plan or pay for your own plan already, you can keep on keepin' on, although we'd at least recommend shopping around to see if there are more affordable plans out there. 

Reform Penalties

To make the reform easier to swallow, lawmakers have thrown consumers a couple of bones: For starters, the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline for enrollment is a soft one. You can start signing up when the exchange opens on Oct. 1 and you have until March 31 to enroll. That gives people a three-month cushion to get their ducks a row. And on April 1, when the penalties begin, they start small and rise on a tiered scale up until 2016:
2014: Families — $285 or 1% of total household income, whichever is greater. Individual adults — $95 or 1% of total household income.
2015: Families — $975 or 2% of income, whichever is greater. Individual adults — $325 or 2% of income.
2016: Families — $2,085 or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater. Individual adults — $695 or 2.5% of income.
Kaiser Health News provides a summary of the Affordable Care Act.

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