No health insurance? How much you'll pay

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

The 2017 fee for not having health insurance

The penalty rises yearly with inflation. For the 2017 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. The fee rises every year with inflation, and final 2018 amounts will be published when available. But starting with the 2019 calendar year, there's no penalty for not having coverage. Note: This change will take effect with 2019 taxes, which are filed in early 2020.

Percentage of income method

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

Per person method

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

Paying the fee

  • 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.
  • You pay the fee when you file your federal tax return for the year you don't have coverage.

Estimating your fee

Use this IRS tool to estimate your individual responsibility payment.

More answers: Penalty for no 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.