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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

What if I need help paying for Obamacare?

By Clark Howard

Get help paying for health coverage

Individuals earning between $15,302  and $46, 021 can qualify for a discount, as can families earning between $31,155 and $93,700. Subsidies are available up to 400% of the poverty line for individuals and families on a sliding scale based on income. Kaiser Family Foundation has a calculator where you can see if you will be eligible for health care subsidies based on family size, age, etc.

What happens if I choose to go without health coverage?

The penalties for not having health coverage in 2014 will be $95 or 1% of a person's income, whichever is greater. By 2016, the penalty rises to $695 per person or 2.5% of income. For families, the tax will be $285 in 2014. By 2016, that family penalty will rise to $2,085 or 2.5% of income.

The penalty will be collected by the IRS from your tax return. Penalties only apply if you are not covered through work and you do not by a policy on your own; if you have Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government-affiliated health service; and if you would have to spend more than 8% of your household income to get coverage.