Frequently-asked questions by category

A tax form highlighting line 61

Does the IRS still enforce the individual mandate?

October 22, 2020 – The individual mandate and its associated penalty are applicable to 2018 tax returns, as the repeal of the mandate penalty didn't take… Read more

The financial implications of a decision to go uninsured

If I decide to gamble and go without insurance, isn’t that my business?

August 12, 2020 – An individual's decision to "gamble" and go without health insurance can result in uncompensated care – a financial burden on hospitals… Read more

Regardless of where you get your health insurance, you (and the IRS) will get a tax form from your employer, insurance company, or exchange each year showing that you had coverage during the previous year.

Who is keeping track of whether I buy health insurance through the exchanges?

January 25, 2020 – Regardless of where you get your health insurance, you (and the IRS) will get a tax form from your employer, insurance company, or exchange… Read more

What happens if I buy insurance but it doesn’t meet ACA’s minimum essential benefits standards?

What happens if I buy insurance but it doesn’t meet ACA’s minimum essential coverage standards?

January 20, 2020 – With the exception of short-term health insurance and other non-ACA-regulated plans, all individual health insurance policies sold since… Read more

Although there is no longer a federal tax penalty for being uninsured, some states have created their own penalties with enforcement mechanisms that largely mirror the federal rules that applied through 2018.

Is it true that the government can’t really enforce the penalty for not having health insurance?

September 12, 2019 – Although there is no longer a federal tax penalty for being uninsured, some states have created their own penalties with enforcement… Read more

Is the Obamacare individual mandate just based on the honor system?

Is the Obamacare individual mandate just based on the honor system?

January 19, 2019 – Q. Is the Obamacare individual mandate just based on the honor system? A: In some ways, yes. But although the individual mandate penalty… Read more

I was laid off and don’t have any income. Am I still required to sign up during open enrollment?

I was laid off and don’t have any income. Am I still required to sign up during open enrollment?

December 19, 2018 – Q. I was laid off right before open enrollment ended, and now do not have any income/insurance. Am I still required to sign up for… Read more

If I decline my employer-sponsored plan and try to get a subsidized exchange plan, will the IRS know?

If I decline my employer-sponsored plan and try to get a subsidized exchange plan, will the IRS know?

December 17, 2018 – Q. If I decline by employer-sponsored health plan and apply through the exchange instead - and try to get a premium subsidy - would the… Read more

I know the individual mandate permits a short gap in coverage of less than three months per year. What if I’m uninsured for the last two months of 2017 and first two months of 2018?

How long can I be uninsured before I have to pay the individual mandate penalty?

January 28, 2018 – Q. I know that the individual mandate allows for a gap in coverage as long as it's less than three months in a year. But what if I have… Read more

Will the IRS apply my payment to my penalty or to my income tax?

If I owe income tax and the ACA penalty but don’t plan to pay the ACA penalty, will the IRS apply my payment to my penalty or to my income tax?

January 12, 2018 – Q. If I owe income tax and the ACA penalty but don’t plan to pay the ACA penalty, will the IRS apply my payment to my penalty or to my… Read more

I can’t enroll in my employer-sponsored plan until July. Do I have to pay a penalty for the first half of the year?

I can’t enroll in my employer-sponsored plan until July. Do I have to pay a penalty for the first half of the year?

January 10, 2018 – Q. I've been uninsured for the last few years. My company offers health insurance, but I didn't enroll during the open enrollment period… Read more

Will every business with more than 50 employees pay a penalty if they don’t offer ‘affordable, comprehensive’ insurance?

Does every business with 50 or more employees pay a penalty if it doesn’t offer ‘affordable, comprehensive’ insurance?

January 9, 2018 – Q. Does every business with more than 50 employees pay a penalty if they don’t offer "affordable, comprehensive" insurance? A.… Read more