How long can I go without health insurance and not pay the fine?

As you know, under the rules of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), anyone who doesn’t have qualified health insurance (or an exemption) will pay a fine on their taxes.

Here’s what you need to know:

How much is the fine?

The fine has gone up every year. For 2016 you’ll pay the higher of:

  • 2.5% of your household income (only the amount of income above the income tax filing threshold). The maximum amount you can be fined is┬áthe national average cost of a Bronze plan.
  • $695 per person ($347.50 for every child under the age of 18). The maximum family penalty via this method is $2,085.

 

How long can I be uninsured without being subject to the fine?

If you are uninsured for 2 months or longer you will be subject to the fine for this year. The fine should be prorated based on how long you’re without coverage.

 

Are there exemption from the Obamacare fine?

  • There are hardship exemptions you can apply for based on dire financial needs.
  • You can apply for an exemption if you live in a state that didn’t expand it’s Medicaid coverage (including South Carolina and Georgia) if you would have qualified for Medicaid if they had.
  • You are exempt if you’re a citizen living abroad or are “not lawfully present,”or if you’re in jail.
  • You’re exempt if you’re a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe.
  • You’re exempt if you’re a member of a recognized health sharing ministry.

 

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