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Q: Do You Still Have to Pay a Penalty for Not Having Health Insurance in 2017?

Asked by Anonymous on February 16, 2018

Hal Levy February 16, 2018

Yes, you still have to pay a tax penalty if you didn’t have health insurance in 2017.

Recent changes in Washington, D.C. will end the Obamacare penalty (also called the individual mandate) starting in 2019. For now, you still have to have health insurance.

How Much Is the Penalty for Not Having Health Insurance in 2017?

There are two different calculations for the Obamacare penalty, and you pay whichever amount is greater. Either:

  • $695 per adult and $347.50 per kid, OR
  • 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income for 2017.

For more information, read our guide on How to Calculate Your Obamacare Tax Penalty.

What if I Had Health Insurance for Some Months But not Others?

The penalty will decrease if you had qualifying health insurance in some months. For example, if you only had health insurance from August through December 2017, then your penalty would be reduced by 50 percent – for a minimum of $347.50, depending on your income.

If you went without health insurance for less than 3 months, then you’re “exempt”, meaning that you don’t have to pay a penalty. This Get Out of Jail Free Card doesn’t work if you go without health insurance for 3 months or more. If you spent that much time without health insurance, then you’ll be penalized for missing every month.

How Will I Know How Many Months I Had Health Insurance For?

Your insurance company will mail a 1095 form to your address. This form will tell you which months you were insured.

The form is usually sent to jog your memory. Most people don’t have to send it to the IRS.

Should I Prepare for a 2018 Penalty?

The penalty will be the same for 2018, before ending in 2019.

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