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Health law fines double for many uninsured at tax time

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. A major survey out Jan. 7, 2016, finds that progress has stalled on reducing the number of...
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. A major survey out Jan. 7, 2016, finds that progress has stalled on reducing the number of... (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A report Tuesday from tax preparation company H&R Block says many people who went without health insurance last year are seeing fines more than double under President Barack Obama's law.

Among its customers who owe a penalty for 2015 the average fine is $383, compared with $172 for 2014, the company said.

Separately, about 6 in 10 customers who got subsidized health insurance under the law are now having to pay back some of that assistance to the IRS. Repayments are also higher this year, averaging $579, compared with $530 last tax season.

Although millions of uninsured people have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act, the update from H&R Block underscores how the law's complex provisions remain a challenge for many consumers.

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