March 20, 2014 15:04 ET

GetInsured Shows "Young Invincibles" Where It's Cheaper to Buy Health Insurance Than to Pay the Fine

Additional Analysis Shows 1 in 20 Will Have Medical Bills Costing at Least $27,000 a Year

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 20, 2014) - GetInsured, a leading health insurance technology company, released new data revealing that while the price for a qualified heath care plan varies tremendously, in some parts of the country, buying health insurance coverage can be cheaper than paying the uninsured tax penalty.

Studies show that 50 percent of Americans are aware of the individual mandate -- that you must buy health insurance or pay a penalty unless you qualify for an exemption. The tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014 is $95 or 1 percent of a person's income (whichever is greatest).

What many people don't know is that the penalty might actually cost more than buying health insurance. For example, a 26-year-old man making the median household income for that age group in Houston County, Texas, could get health insurance for $1 per month -- thanks to the ACA's tax credits. In contrast, this same individual would have to pay a penalty of $95 if he didn't get insured.

"If you're a twenty-something and you're put off by the monthly cost of health insurance, you need to look at the details for your specific county," said Chini Krishnan, CEO of GetInsured. "Premium costs vary depending on where you live, and you may qualify for tax credits," he explained. "There's no one-size-fits-all answer to health insurance; you need to go online and check to see what coverage will cost for you."

Here are 10 more counties where a 26-year-old making the median household income would be wise to get a plan instead of paying the penalty:

If you're 26 years old and live in...   and make the median household income of...   the yearly cost of a bronze plan after your tax credit would be about...   OR when you file your 2014 taxes you can pay a penalty of about...
Hinds County, Mississippi   $23,559   $0   $134
Hopkins Country, Kentucky   $21,882   $0   $117
Meigs County, Ohio   $20,703   $0   $106
Imperial County, California   $20,641   $0   $105
Webster Parish, Louisiana   $20,636   $6   $105
Mitchell County, Georgia   $14,431   $0   $95
Winston County, Alabama   $14,613   $0   $95
Bertie County, North Carolina   $13,733   $0   $95
McDowell County, West Virginia   $14,479   $0   $95
Washington County, Missouri   $15,600   $0   $95

Additionally, GetInsured compiled a list of 288 counties where 26-year-olds earning the median household income can get health insurance for less than $1 a day:

For those young adults who still aren't convinced -- the so-called "young and invincible" crowd who are willing to roll the dice and gamble on their good health, GetInsured's data analysis might provide a bit more incentive. The analysis found that a person between the ages of 25-34 has a fair chance of racking up some pretty serious medical bills:

  • 1 in 20 will have medical bills costing at least $27,000 a year
  • 2 in 20 will have medical bills costing at least $13,000 a year
  • 4 in 20 will have medical bills costing at least $5,000 a year

"Whether you're putting off getting insurance because you think it's expensive, or putting it off because you think you don't need it, this is a good time to think again," Krishnan added. "It's a smart move to protect your wallet, as well as your health, and we're providing guidance and solutions to see just how affordable insurance can be -- no matter your age. And don't forget, open enrollment ends 3/31."

About GetInsured
GetInsured is a leading health insurance technology company that combines modern technology and customer service capabilities to make health insurance shopping easy and efficient. Since its founding in 2005, GetInsured has helped millions of individuals and families find the right health insurance plan for their needs and budgets. GetInsured is approved by the federal government to enroll Americans in subsidized health insurance plans, and the company also provides state governments with technology solutions for the enablement of state-based health insurance exchanges. For more information, please visit

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