Having No Health Insurance in Wisconsin May Cost You

  • September 13, 2016
  • |Quartz
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Living with no health insurance in Madison, WI might be more expensive than you think.

Most people (even those who are unemployed in Wisconsin) are required to have health insurance. It’s the law according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  So, having no health insurance may cost you.

Unless you have an exemption, you’ll pay whatever is higher of these two amounts if you didn't have health insurance in 2016

  • 2.5 percent of your yearly household income above the filing threshold. The maximum penalty is the national average yearly premium for a bronze plan.
  • $695 per person for the year ($347.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $2,085
  • Calculate your potential tax penalty

I Don't Have Health Insurance Because I Never Go to the Doctor

If you do the calculation for the fee, you might find that having no health insurance and paying the fee is cheaper than paying a health insurance premium. If you haven’t been to the doctor in years, this may seem to be the logical choice.

But what if you do end up having to go the doctor or even the emergency room? For example, if you go to a Dane County emergency room with chest pain, the median charge runs from $1,915 to $3,319.3 That’s just for one visit and it probably doesn’t include all of the costs. If you have multiple ER visits or have a serious injury or illness, the costs may be higher. One ER visit may cost you the same amount as a year’s worth of premiums (depending on the plan you pick).

If you add the cost of the ER visit to the cost of the fee, you may be paying more out-of-pocket than if you had purchased coverage. Not having health insurance may be very costly indeed.


People that don’t get health care services may also not be getting preventive care. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are responsible for seven in 10 deaths among Americans each year.These conditions may be preventable with early detection and treatment.

By law, ACA-compliant health plans now cover a specific set of preventive services – many at no out-of-pocket cost – even if you have a bronze or catastrophic plan. See the list of preventive services.

Don't go without health insurance any longer. Unity can help you find the health plan that is right for you. Take advantage of the preventive care now available – Unity wants you to be healthy, and we’re here to help! 

  1. https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/fee-for-not-being-covered
  2. http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-cost-of-the-individual-mandate-penalty-for-the-remaining-uninsured/
  3. http://www.wipricepoint.org/Report_EDS.aspx
  4. http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2013/rwjf72446


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