If you are able to afford health insurance, but choose not to purchase it, you will receive a tax penalty unless you have a coverage exemption.
What is the penalty for not having health coverage in 2015?
If you do not have coverage for the year 2015, you will pay the HIGHER of these two amounts:
- 2% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the tax penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze level health insurance plan.
- $325 per person for the year ($162.50 for each child under age 18). The maximum penalty using this method is $975 per family, regardless of the number of family members.
How will I pay the penalty?
You will pay the penalty on the federal income tax return that you file for the year that you do not have health coverage. Most people will file their 2015 tax returns early in 2016.
What if I am uninsured for only part of the year?
If you are uninsured for only part of the year, then your tax penalty will be 1/12 of the yearly penalty for each month you are uninsured.
If you are uninsured for NO MORE THAN 2 months of the year, you will not have to pay a penalty.
If I'm unemployed, do I still have to pay the penalty?
It will depend on your household income. If health insurance is deemed "unaffordable" to you based on your income, you may qualify for an exemption from any penalty. Other exemptions are based on low income, as well. Learn more about exemptions and how to claim them
Still need health coverage for 2015? You have two options for obtaining coverage:
- You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life changing event like having a child, losing group coverage through your work, or moving to a different state.
- If you are considered "low-income", you may qualify for one of the state run health insurance programs (i.e. MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance).
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