Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews offers this answer to a reader’s question: “The simple answer is March 31, but unfortunately it’s not that straightforward. Starting in January, most people will need to have health insurance. If they don’t, they’ll owe a penalty amounting to $95 or 1 percent of the family income, whichever is greater. This fee will be collected when they file their federal income taxes. But the rules allow people to have a short gap in coverage of less than three consecutive months before they get dinged with the penalty" (Andrews, 10/18). Read the answer.
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