when the affordable care act (aca), also known as obamacare, was signed into law in 2010, it dramatically changed the health care system in the us. uu. by requiring every individual and family to have health coverage. The law also provides financial assistance to make plans more affordable for Americans with lower income levels.
The beginning of the law included penalties for those who did not have qualifying coverage, known as the individual mandate. This controversial part of ACA was repealed effective January 1, 2019, removing the federal tax penalty if you didn’t enroll in an ACA-compliant health care plan. while the penalty rules still apply, the penalty amounts have been changed to $0, eliminating the financial consequences of not having qualifying coverage. Keep in mind that while the fine has been revoked at the federal level, you may still face a fine from your state government, depending on where you live.
timeline of obamacare tax penalties
The individual mandate came into effect in 2014. During that first year, the penalties were relatively small. the limit was a fine of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, with a family maximum of $285 per year. adults and families earning 250% of the federal poverty level or more had higher penalties, based on a percentage of their income.
The fines increased in 2015 and 2016 to $325 per person and $695 per person, respectively. Family limits increased to $975 in 2015 and $2,085 in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, penalty amounts remained at the same level as they were in 2016, which was exponentially higher than when they started.
A tax reform law instituted by the trump administration in early 2018 eliminated the obamacare penalty provisions in 2019. That law is still in place, so there has been no federal penalty for not having a qualified plan in 2019 or 2020. However, federal law still requires you to have health insurance, even though the financial penalty has been waived.
obamacare tax penalty calculation
When federal tax penalties were in effect, they were prorated based on the number of months you were uninsured. people paid a penalty if they didn’t have major medical health insurance that met minimum federal standards for more than two months in a row. in 2018, the penalty for not having coverage was $295 per adult or 2.5% of your household income, whichever was greater.
This table also breaks down how the sanction was applied each year:
Now that the tax penalty has been repealed, there is no longer a financial consequence of not having federal health insurance. however, you may have a state penalty if you live in one of the following states:
- new jersey
- rhode island
- district of colombia
- sign up for obamacare during the open enrollment period
- obamacare 101: how obamacare health insurance works
- the special enrollment period under obamacare
No matter where you live and what penalties you may face, ehealth can help you find affordable health insurance that meets your needs and budget. Our licensed brokers offer plans in every state, with the ability to enroll for coverage online or by phone. With 24/7 support to help you navigate the complex world of health care coverage, you can be sure you’re in good hands when you trust eHealth for your insurance needs. Contact us today to start comparing plans in your area.