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The New York Times (12/9, A23, Goodnough, Subscription Publication) reports that Americans who go without health insurance in 2016 “despite having the option of buying health coverage through an Affordable Care Act marketplace will owe an average tax penalty of $969 per household, a new analysis has found.” That amount is significantly higher than the average penalty of $661 for those who went without coverage in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. The Times adds that it “remains to be seen how effective the rising fine will be in persuading the roughly 10.5 million uninsured Americans who are eligible for marketplace coverage to buy it.”

National Journal  (12/9, Roubein, Subscription Publication) reports that the analysis said, “A key area of uncertainty for 2016 is how much the increased penalties will encourage uninsured people – particularly those who are healthy – to obtain coverage, boosting enrollment in the marketplaces and improving the insurance risk pool.”

Bloomberg News  (12/9, Tozzi) notes the penalties “are rising to 2.5 percent of income or a flat dollar amount of $695 per adult, whichever is higher.” According to Kaiser, about 3.5 million Americans who are currently uninsured could get health coverage in 2016 for less than what they’ll pay in penalties.