If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a fee or have a health coverage exemption. (The fee is sometimes called the "penalty," "fine," "individual responsibility payment," or "individual mandate.")
If you don’t have health insurance in 2016, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
You’ll pay the fee on the federal income tax return you file for the year you don’t have coverage. Most people will file their 2016 returns in early 2017.
Learn more about the individual shared responsibility payment from the Internal Revenue Service.
If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan.
$95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.
If you’re uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured.
You’ll pay the penalty when you file the federal income tax return for the year for which you’re seeking coverage. Most people will file their 2015 tax returns early in 2016.
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.
Yes. The rules about paying penalties are the same whether the Marketplace is run by your state or the federal government.