The Penalty

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

 

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.

 

Exemptions

 

Most people must have qualifying health coverage or pay a fee (also known as the “penalty,” “fine,” “individual shared responsibility payment,” or “individual mandate”). But if you qualify for a health coverage exemption you don’t have to pay the fee.

 

There are different kinds of exemptions. Some you claim on your federal tax return. Others, including hardship exemptions, you apply for with a paper application.

 

If you’re covered by a plan that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage” you don’t need to pay the fee or get an exemption.

 

Below are all exemptions for the 2015 tax year. Follow the links below for details, forms, and instructions.

If you’re still interested in exemptions for the 2014 tax year, visit our 2014 exemptions page.

 

Income-related exemptions

  • The lowest-priced coverage available to you, through either a Marketplace or job-based plan, would cost more than 8.05% of your household income

  • You don’t have to file a tax return because your income is below the level that requires you to file

 

Health coverage-related exemptions

  • You were uninsured for no more than 2 consecutive months of the year

  • You lived in a state that didn’t expand its Medicaid program but you would have qualified if it had

 

Group membership exemptions

  • You’re a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider

  • You’re a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry

  • You’re a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare

 

Other exemptions

  • You’re incarcerated (serving a term in prison or jail)

  • You’re a U.S. citizen living abroad, a certain type of non-citizen, or not lawfully present(learn more about the definition of “lawfully present”)

  • You experienced one of the hardships below

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