So there are several exemptions available until at least late 2016 to avoid paying the penalty for not purchasing health insurance. People just need to know they can apply for it. The most prominent exemption seems to be having a policy canceled for not complying with the Affordable Care Act, but there are several other exceptions to apply for.
Laurence Vance has cataloged them.
You can even apply for an exemption if you receive a cut-off notice from a utility company. I don’t think that would be too hard to acquire. There’s likely going to be a relatively small fee for not paying the power bill for a few months, but it beats having to pay an additional one percent of your taxable income to the Feds.