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ARE PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW?

SOME MEMBERS OF THE STATE’S HEALTH INSURANCE CONNECTOR BOARD SAY PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO HAVE MANDATORY COVERAGE ARE INCONSISTENT, AND IN SOME CASES TOO LOW. MOST OF THE BOARD AGREES WITH PROPOSED FINES THAT WOULD BE CAPPED AT 912-DOLLARS THIS YEAR. BUT M-I-T ECONOMIST JON GRUBER SAYS THAT’S ONLY ABOUT 20-PERCENT OF WHAT IT WOULD COST AN OLDER PERSON TO BUY INSURANCE.

"The law has a mandate and our job is to implement that mandate and I fear that if these penalties get too low the mandate won’t work."

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS SAY THIS YEAR’S PENALITIES ARE ALREADY HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR AND ARE REASONABLE.

FOR THE COMPLETE OUTLINE OF PENALTIES FOR 2008, WHICH VARY BASED ON INCOME, CLICK HERE.

This program aired on January 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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