In 2014, choosing not to have a compliant health insurance plan was (and is) a viable option for many people. The tax penalty — or to use the proper name — the “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment” for 2014 was not very high. Some people decided to take the risk and go without coverage, while some decided to get a low-cost non-compliant plan. Either way, the penalty wasn’t a huge deterrent.
The penalty is increasing significantly in 2015,