For plan years through 2018, if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you may pay a fee called the individual Shared Responsibility Payment when you file your federal taxes. (The fee is sometimes called the "penalty," "fine," or "individual mandate.")
Starting with the 2019 plan year (for which you’ll file taxes in April 2020), the Shared Responsibility Payment no longer applies.
Note: Some states have their own individual health insurance mandate, requiring you to have qualifying health coverage or pay a fee with your state taxes for the 2019 plan year. If you live in a state that requires you to have health coverage and you don’t have coverage (or an exemption):
Check with your state or tax preparer to find out if there is a fee for not having health coverage.
The fee is calculated 2 different ways — as a percentage of your yearly household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.
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.
For plans 2018 and earlier, you can use this IRS tool to estimate your individual responsibility payment.
It depends on your household income and the plan year. For 2018 plans and earlier, if insurance is unaffordable to you based on your income, you may qualify for an exemption from the fee. Other exemptions are based on low income too. Learn more about exemptions and how to claim them.
The IRS will hold back the amount of the fee from any future tax refunds. There are no liens, levies, or criminal penalties for failing to pay the fee.