To avoid the penalty for not having insurance you must be enrolled in qualifying health coverage (sometimes called "minimum essential coverage").

Examples of qualifying health coverage

If you're covered by any of the following types of plans, you're considered covered under the health care law and don't have to pay a penalty.

See a more detailed list of types of plans that do and don’t count as qualifying health coverage from the IRS.

Health plans that don't count as coverage

Some products that help pay for medical services don't qualify. If you have only this kind of product, you may have to pay the fee. Examples include:

  • Coverage only for vision care or dental care
  • Workers' compensation
  • Coverage only for a specific disease or condition
  • Plans that offer only discounts on medical services

More answers

What if I have qualifying health coverage for just part of the year?

The penalty 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.

What if I buy an individual plan outside the Marketplace? Will I have to pay the fee?

Any plan that meets the standards for qualifying health coverage counts under the health care law. If it does, you won't have to pay the fee.

You can buy qualifying health coverage directly from an insurance company, from an online seller, or through an agent or broker.
Before you buy, be sure to find out if the plan you’re interested in qualifies.