(HealthDay News) — Although an estimated 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2016, only four million are expected to pay penalties, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
That’s two million fewer people than CBO projected in September 2012. The revised estimates reflect an increase in the number of Americans who experts believe will qualify for exemptions from federal tax penalties under the Affordable Care Act.
People can obtain exemption from the penalties for many reasons, such as not earning enough to file a federal income tax return or being locked out of Medicaid because their state has not expanded eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Americans may also apply for a “hardship exemption” if certain life circumstances, including a bankruptcy, prevent them from obtaining coverage.
With fewer people paying penalties, the CBO expects the federal government to take in $3 billion less than anticipated. An estimated $4 billion will be collected in 2016 and $5 billion a year from 2017 through 2024.