Healthcare 2016 . . . The Individual Mandate

The fee you pay if you don’t have health coverage

If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a fee or have a health coverage exemption. (The fee is sometimes called the “penalty,” “fine,” “individual responsibility payment,” or “individual mandate.”)

The fee for not having health coverage in 2016

If you don’t have health insurance in 2016, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:

  • 2.5% of your yearly household income (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual in 2014, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan.
  • $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18) The maximum penalty per family using this method is $2,085.

How you pay the fee

You’ll pay the fee on the federal income tax return you file for the year you don’t have coverage. Most people will file their 2016 returns in early 2017.

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

The fee for not having coverage in 2015

If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:

  • 2% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan.
  • $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

The fee for not having coverage in 2014

If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:

  • 1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan.

  • $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

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