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What is the penalty for not having health insurance?

If you choose not to purchase health insurance but you can afford it you will have to pay a fee called “the individual shared responsibility payment.” This fee is also sometimes called the penalty, fine, or individual mandate.

  • The fee is owed for any month in which your spouse or any tax dependent are without qualifying health coverage. This is sometimes referred to as the “minimum essential coverage.”
  • This fee is paid when filling your federal tax return for the year you were without health insurance coverage.
  • In some cases – You may qualify for an exemption from the health coverage requirement. When you qualify you do not have to pay the fee.

2016 & 2017 – Fees for not having health insurance during

Fees are calculated 2 different ways

  1. As a percentage of your household income
  2. Per person.

You’ll pay whichever is higher and the fee rises according to inflation.

Percentage of income

  • 2.5% – of household income
  • Maximum – Total annual premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan that is sold through the Marketplace.

Per person

  • $695 – per adult
  • $347.50 – per child under 18
  • Maximum – $2,085

Paying the fee

  • When you use the percentage method – only the part of your household income that’s above the yearly tax filing requirement is counted.
  • When you use the per-person method, you pay only for people in your household who don’t have insurance coverage.
  • When you only have coverage for part of the year – the fee is 1/12 of the annual amount for each month you or your tax dependents don’t have coverage. If uncovered then only 1 or 2 months, you don’t have to pay the fee at all.
  • Pay the fee when you file your federal tax return for the year you did not have health insurance coverage.
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