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But the penalty will increase more than sevenfold in the next two years, with the fine running as much as $695 per person by 2016. The family maximum would be as high as $2,085 (or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is greater).

Let me put that $2085 in perspective. Our current insurance premiums are about $950 a month. The plan our insurer recommends for us (clearly inferior to what we have, with higher deductibles and a split coinsurance system that could cost us an extra $36K per year) would be about $1200 a month. The "gold" plan that is somewhat better but still not as good as our current insurance would be about $1350 a month.

So if we don't buy insurance for either of us, the penalty would be equivalent to the insurance premiums we aren't paying for about a month and a half.

(Fortunately we have another way out - one not readily available to most people. We can easily change our state of residence. With the new legal residence I'm looking at, a plan better than our current insurer's gold plan will cost us about $1100 a month.)
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