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Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Personal Injury / Rhode Island Residents Will Now Face a Penalty for Having No Health Insurance

Rhode Island Residents Will Now Face a Penalty for Having No Health Insurance


Starting January 1, 2020, Rhode Island residents are legally required to have health insurance. Otherwise, they will face a penalty on their taxes.

As reported by WPRI, Rhode Island’s taxation division released a list of new tax changes in 2020, including the new health insurance mandate.

Rhode Island residents who (a) do not carry minimum health insurance coverage in 2020 and (b) do not qualify for exemptions will face a penalty the succeeding year when filing a state tax return for 2020.

State lawmakers explained that the new law is supposed to make sure that everyone in Rhode Island has sufficient health insurance in the event of personal injury or illness.

In December 2019, a federal appeals court in New Orleans struck down the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to have health insurance coverage, ruling that the requirement is unconstitutional, according to NPR.

While open enrollment for 2020 coverage is closed in Rhode Island, there are circumstances where residents may still qualify for special enrollment. In the state, Open Enrollment for 2020 coverage started November 1, 2019, and ended December 31.

Health Policy Premium Rates in 2020

In other news, insurance rates for small- and large-group plans in Rhode Island will rise in 2020. As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Rhode Island’s Health Insurance Commissioner said that insurance rates would still not rise as much as the state’s major health insurers had initially requested.

At the same time, average rates for the individual market will decrease as part of the so-called reinsurance plan, which was the creation of Health Source Rhode Island. The plan was approved by the General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Raimondo told the media that the decreasing premiums in Rhode Island are proof that the Affordable Care Act is “working” in the state. The Office of the Health Commissioner says more than $15 million was cut from the rate increases that health insurers in Rhode Island requested.

Payment Methods in the Event of Injury

If you were injured in Rhode Island, these are the available payment methods that may cover your medical bills and other post-injury expenses:

  • Your individual health insurance
  • Health insurance of your spouse or parents’ if you still live with them or are their dependent
  • Your employer’s insurance if they provide health benefits
  • Your own car insurance
  • Auto insurance of the driver (if you were a passenger)
  • Auto insurance of the at-fault party (if you were driving another vehicle and were not at fault)
  • Your own savings or personal means if you have no insurance coverage
  • Workers’ compensation insurance if you were injured on the job
  • Other sources, if available

This is not the full list of possible payment methods that can be used to cover your expenses after a car accident, slip and fall accident, or any other traumatic event. In some cases, it is possible to tap into multiple types of insurance to provide you with sufficient funds.

Since Rhode Island follows the “comparative fault” doctrine, the amount of damages you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. Contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney to determine fault in your case and evaluate your damages. Call at 401-453-2700 to speak to our lawyers from Robert E. Craven & Associates.






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