What is the shared responsibility fee?
The shared responsibility fee is also called the “shared responsibility payment” and the “tax penalty.” All three are the same thing. Individuals who do not have health insurance may have to pay a fee on their taxes. The fee will not be larger than the national average yearly premium for a Bronze plan, which is a type of plan that pays on average 60% of the cost of care, and is calculated only on the amount of income above the tax filing threshold.
- For 2014, the fee was $95 per person ($47.50 per child under 18) or 1 percent of yearly income, whichever was larger.
- In 2015, the fee will be 2 percent of income or $325 per person ($162.50 per child under 18), whichever is larger.
- In 2016, the fee will be 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18), whichever is larger.
What is an exemption from the fee?
You will have to pay a shared responsibility fee when you file your taxes if you do not have health insurance or an exemption. There are ten ways to qualify for an exemption from the shared responsibility fee. Exemption applications are now available from the federal government. For more information and links to the applications, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions. If you have questions about exemptions from the shared responsibility fee, call the federal Marketplace Services at (800) 318-2596.
Am I eligible for an exemption from the shared responsibility fee?
You can apply to the federal Marketplace Services to see if you meet one of these ten different ways to qualify for an exemption:
- You are uninsured for less than 2 consecutive months of the year.
- The lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8.05 percent of your household income.
- You lived in a state that didn’t expand its Medicaid program but you would have qualified if it had
- You do not have to file a tax return because your income is below the filing threshold.
- You are a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider.
- You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.
- You are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare.
- You are in prison and not waiting for a disposition of charges against you.
- You are not lawfully present in the United States.
- You are experiencing a qualifying hardship. (Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions to learn more about qualifying hardships.)
How and when do I apply for an exemption?
You can claim some exemptions when you file your federal tax return. You must apply for others, including hardship exemptions, with a paper application.
If you wish, you may apply for some exemptions before you file your federal tax return. Use the Exemption Screener tool on Healthcare.gov to find exemptions that might apply to you and instructions on how to apply for each type of exemption. https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions-tool/#/
How will I know if my exemption request has been approved?
The federal government should respond to your application within two weeks. If you do not hear from anyone, call (800) 318-2596.