The fee for not having health insurance

If you don’t have health insurance: How much you’ll pay

If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a fee called the individual shared responsibility payment. (The fee is sometimes called the "penalty," "fine," or "individual mandate.")

Learn more about the individual shared responsibility payment from the Internal Revenue Service.

The fee for not having health insurance in 2016

The fee is calculated 2 different ways – as a percentage of your household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher. The fee rises with inflation in future years. Final 2017 amounts will be published when available.

Percentage of income

  • 2.5% of household income
  • Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

Per person

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

Paying the fee

  • Using the percentage method, only the part of your household income that’s above the yearly tax filing threshold ($10,150 for individuals, $20,300 for couples filing jointly in 2014, the most recent year available) 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.
  • You pay the fee when you file your federal tax return for the year you don’t have coverage.

The fee in previous years

The fee for not having coverage in 2015

The penalty for 2015 is the higher of these:

  • 2% of household income
  • Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

OR

  • $325 per adult
  • $162.50 per child under 18
  • Maximum: $975

The fee for not having coverage in 2014

The penalty for 2014 is the higher of these:

  • 1% of household income
  • Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

OR

  • $95 per adult
  • $47.50 per child under 18
  • Maximum: $285

More answers: The penalty for not having health insurance

If I'm unemployed, do I have to pay the fee?

It depends on your household income. 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.

What happens if I don't pay the fee?

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.