A fee you’ll pay if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it. The penalty is sometimes called the “fee,” “fine,” or “individual mandate.” The penalty for not having health coverage in 2016 is $695 for each person on your tax return who isn’t covered ($347.50 per child), or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is more. The penalty rises with inflation in future years.

  • You owe a fee for any month you, your spouse, or your tax dependents don’t have health insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage.
  • You’ll pay the fee when you file your federal income tax return.
  • If you’re uncovered just some months of the year, you pay 1/12 of the penalty for each month you’re uninsured. If you’re uncovered for only 1 or 2 consecutive months, you don’t have to pay the fee at all.
  • People with very low incomes and others with special circumstances may be eligible for exemptions from the requirement to have health insurance. If you qualify for an exemption, you won’t have to pay the fee.

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