What is the penalty for not having health insurance in 2019?

The federal tax penalty for not being enrolled in health insurance will be eliminated in 2019 because of recent changes made by the Trump Administration. However, those that received a penalty for not having health insurance in 2018 will still have to pay the penalty on your 2019 tax forms. 

The 2018 tax penalty for not having health insurance is $695 for adults and $347.50 for children or 2% of your yearly income, whichever amount is more. This penalty was designed to protect both people from skipping out on health insurance and not being able to pay off their medical expenses in the event of injury or illness.

State-level health insurance penalties still may be in effect.

While there will not be penalties at the federal level anymore for going uninsured or choosing a plan that is not ACA-compliant, it is still important to look at state requirements for health insurance. A large handful of states have their own health insurance penalties that are assessed when people do not have insurance that complies with that state’s laws.

Some places where a health insurance penalty is still assessed:

  • New Jersey. This state has a health insurance penalty that will go into effect in 2019. The health insurance penalty is based on New Jersey’s prices for bronze level health insurance policies.
  • Massachusetts has had a health insurance penalty since instituting a state health insurance program in 2006. In the past, they did not assess a health insurance penalty if someone paid one at the federal level. However, with the elimination of the federal health insurance penalty, they will begin charging a state fee.
  • Vermont has instituted a health insurance penalty for uninsured individuals in that state. The health insurance penalty law goes into effect in 2020.
  • District of Columbia. This city has signed their own health insurance penalty into law. It goes into effect in 2019.

Published: 02/18/2019

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