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.")

Premium Tax Credit

• You owe the fee for any month you, your spouse, or your tax dependents don’t have qualifying health coverage (sometimes called "minimum essential coverage"). See all insurance types that qualify.

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

• In some cases, you may qualify for a health coverage exemption from the requirement to have insurance. If you qualify, you won’t have to pay the fee. Learn about health coverage exemptions.

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

The fee for not having qualifying health insurance

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

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 ($10,300 for individuals, $20,600 for couples filing jointly in 2015, 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.

Source: HealthCare.gov

Penalty - Individual Shared Responsibility Payment

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. See details.

The fee for 2018 plans and earlier

The fee for 2019 plans and beyond
If you don’t have coverage during 2019, the fee no longer applies. You don’t need an exemption in order to avoid the penalty. See more.