There is a lot of chatter surrounding a story we posted yesterday, one that shows a man claiming he tried to sign up for Obamacare only to be fined and threatened when opting out. Will Sheehan is his name and he claims he registered on the site to see a rate plan, only to find out it was almost $600 a month with a $13,000 deductable. After opting out, Sheehan says he received an email with a $4K penalty notice and language that threatened his bank account, his drivers license and his home in the event of non-payment.
Here’s what he says.
“I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 A.M. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually I chose tier 2 “Silver Plan” and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I “opt-out” and chose to continue along with no insurance.
I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the “REPERCUSSIONS PORTION” for “non-payment” of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with “Non-Payment” and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy “Automatically withdraw” your “penalties” weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is “Free” or even “Affordable.”
Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to verify Will Sheehan’s story. As the initial source pointed out, either he is telling a lie or the government is using early threats to preemptively provoke people to pay the penalty.
Here’s what the law says about the matter.
Section 1501(g)(2) of the Affordable Care Act also states that the IRS cannot “file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section.”
Here’s the thing. The story doesn’t claim the man’s bank account was seized. It simply claims there was a threat of such activity. The law doesn’t prohibit the IRS from making the threat.
Additionally, the law doesn’t prohibit the suspension of a drivers license, so that part may very well be possible.
At the end of the day, though, one of the most revealing facts of the story is that by registering and going through the setup process just to get a rate quote, you are essentially informing the government that you are uninsured. This is an act that would instantly add you to the penalty list should you not be able to afford the quoted rates for Obamacare.