The fee for not having health insurance
No health insurance? See if you'll owe a fee

For plan years through 2018, if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you may pay a fee called the individual Shared Responsibility Payment when you file your federal taxes. (The fee is sometimes called the "penalty," "fine," or "individual mandate.")

Starting with the 2019 plan year (for which you’ll file taxes in April 2020), the Shared Responsibility Payment no longer applies.

Note: Some states have their own individual health insurance mandate, requiring you to have qualifying health coverage or pay a fee with your state taxes for the 2019 plan year. If you live in a state that requires you to have health coverage and you don’t have coverage (or an exemption):

  • You’ll be charged a fee when you file your 2019 state taxes.
  • You won’t owe a fee on your federal tax return.

Check with your state or tax preparer to find out if there is a fee for not having health coverage.

The fee for 2018 plans and earlier

  • You may owe the fee for any month you, your spouse, or your tax dependents don't have qualifying health coverage (sometimes called "minimum essential coverage"). See all insurance types that qualify.
  • You pay the fee when you file your federal tax return for the year you don’t have coverage.
  • In some cases, you may qualify for a health coverage exemption from the requirement to have insurance. If you qualify, you won't have to pay the fee. Learn about health coverage exemptions.

The fee for 2019 plans and beyond

  • If you don’t have coverage during 2019, the fee no longer applies. You don’t need an exemption in order to avoid the penalty.
  • If you don’t have coverage during 2019, the fee no longer applies. You don’t need an exemption in order to avoid the penalty.

How to calculate the fee for each plan year

The fee is calculated 2 different ways — as a percentage of your yearly household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.

  • Using the percentage method, only the part of your household income that's above the yearly tax filing requirement is counted.
  • Using the per person method, you pay only for people in your household who don't have insurance coverage.

If you 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 you're uncovered only 1 or 2 months, you don't have to pay the fee at all. Learn about the "short gap" exemption.

Fee amounts for 2017 (you'll file taxes in April 2018)

Per person method Income percentage method Maximum amount
$695 per adult
$347.50 per child under 18
2.5% of yearly household income If per person method is higher: 2.5% of yearly household income
If income percentage method is higher: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

Fee amounts for 2018 (you'll file taxes in April 2019)

Per person method Income percentage method Maximum amount
2017 amount plus any inflation adjustment to be determined 2.5% of yearly household income If per person method is higher: 2.5% of yearly household income
If income percentage method is higher: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

Fee amounts for 2019 and beyond (you'll file taxes in April 2020 and beyond)

Per person method Income percentage method Maximum amount
The Shared Responsibility Payment no longer applies The Shared Responsibility Payment no longer applies The Shared Responsibility Payment no longer applies

For plans 2018 and earlier, you can use this IRS tool to estimate your individual responsibility payment.

More answers: If you owe a fee

It depends on your household income and the plan year. For 2018 plans and earlier, if insurance is unaffordable to you based on your income, you may qualify for an exemption from the fee. Other exemptions are based on low income too. Learn more about exemptions and how to claim them.

The IRS will hold back the amount of the fee from any future tax refunds. There are no liens, levies, or criminal penalties for failing to pay the fee.

 
 

Ready to obtain the right health insurance? Check your eligibility for free or low cost health insurance through the marketplace in 4 simple steps...