Individual Mandate Penalty You Pay If You Don't Have Health Insurance Coverage
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 & 2017
The fee is calculated 2 different ways – as a percentage of your household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.
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
- $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 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: The penalty for not having health insurance
- 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.
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