What is the tax penalty for not having health insurance?

Learn about the Affordable Care Act tax penalty.

What you need to know

The Affordable Care Act put a fee in place for individuals and families who do not have qualifying health coverage for more than three or more consecutive months out of the year. This fee is called the health insurance mandate. The fee is calculated in one of two ways:

  1. As a percentage of your household income. You will owe 2.5% of your household income, with the maximum fee equaling the average total yearly premium of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace in your area.
  2. Per person. You will owe $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18. The maximum fee is $2,085. You'll pay the higher of the two fees. You will calculate and pay your fee on your federal tax return for the year in which you don't have coverage.

If you're using the first method of calculating your fee, don't count the income below the yearly tax filing threshold ($10,150 for individuals and $20,300 for couples filing jointly). If you're calculating per person, you only need to pay for people in your household who did not have health insurance.

If you have coverage for part of the year, you will pay 1/12 of the annual fee for each month you or a member of your household does not have coverage. There is no fee for a short gap in coverage of one or two months.

You may qualify for an exemption from the health insurance mandate. Some reasons for an exemption include your financial status, membership in a federally recognized tribe, or membership in a recognized religious sect.


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