Nation Briefs 07-25-14 Maximum fine this year for not purchasing health insurance at $2,448 cap

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MIAMI -- Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five.

The amount is equal to the national average annual premium for a bronze level health plan. But only those with an income above about a quarter of a million dollars would benefit from the cap. Those making less would still have to pay as much as 1 percent of their annual income.

The penalty for the first year starts at $95 per adult or $47.50 per child under 18. The penalty for not buying insurance increases to 2 percent of income or $325, whichever is higher, for 2015. The fines are due when people file their 2014 taxes.

The figures, released late Thursday, are important because the White House has only provided theoretical caps in the past. Conservative lawmakers and groups that are critical of the Affordable Care Act encouraged consumers to skip buying insurance, arguing it would be cheaper to pay a $95 penalty, but often failed to mention the 1 percent clause.

Records show criminal cases: Two of the four candidates seeking the same seat on the Kalamazoo (Mich.) County Board of Commissioners have criminal histories, according to police and court records. Rico White was convicted of two felonies in the 1990s, including assault with a dangerous weapon, while Stephanie Moore has been convicted of four misdemeanors, most recently in 2008, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1rOeP69 ). White, who serves on the Kalamazoo city planning commission, pleaded no contest to assault with a dangerous weapon in 1994 following a domestic dispute. Two years earlier, he pleaded guilty to passing a check of $500 or more with insufficient funds. Convictions for Moore, a four-term Kalamazoo city commissioner, include attempted resisting and obstructing a police officer in 2008, embezzlement in 2005, passing a check with insufficient funds in 1998 and retail fraud in 1989.

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