Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Fee calculated in two different ways
  • You will pay whichever is higher
  • If you are charged by your income, the fee will be 2.5 percent of your household income
  • If you are charged per person, the fee will be $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18
  • There is a maximum limit set on these fees

The fee for not having health insurance in 2016 can vary depending on a few different factors. This fee is known as the ”individual shared responsibility payment”, but is often referred to as the fee or penalty for not having health insurance.

Enter your zip code above to find cheap, qualified health insurance plans from your state’s top providers!

When do you pay the fee?


You are required to pay this fee if you can afford health insurance, but did not purchase it. You will owe the fee for every month you and your dependents went without the minimum essential health coverage and you will pay this fee when you file your federal tax return each year.

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There are certain exemptions to these fees that you may qualify for. Some reasons for exemption may be that you only had a short gap in your coverage or that you filed for bankruptcy.

The short gap exemption applies when you went without health insurance coverage for no more than two continuous months.

However, if you had two or more gaps in coverage within the same year, you can only claim this exemption for the first gap, even if they were both less than three months. You can claim this exemption when filing your taxes.

You can also be exempt from the fee if you filed bankruptcy within the past three years, as it is considered a financial hardship that made it difficult for you to acquire and afford health insurance.

This exemption can apply to your entire household. In order to qualify for this exemption, you will need to provide copies of your official bankruptcy filing documents and mail them to the healthcare marketplace address with an exemption application.

How is it calculated?


The fee for not having health insurance can vary and is calculated in two different ways. You will pay whichever fee winds up being higher. The following fees are for the 2017 year, they are expected to rise each year due to inflation.

The fee can be calculated either by a percentage of your income or an amount per person in the household.

If the fee is calculated by a percentage of income, it will be 2.5 percent of the household income. The maximum amount that you will be charged will be roughly equivalent to the average price of a yearly premium of a Bronze healthcare plan sold through the healthcare marketplace.

Only the part of your income that is above the tax filing threshold, which is $10,150 for single individuals and $20,300 for couples who file jointly will be included in this calculation.

The fee per person is $695 for every adult in the household and $347.50 for every child in the household under the age of 18. The maximum fee that you can be charged in this way is $2,085.

You will only have to pay for those in the household who are not covered by insurance using this method.

If you were covered for a portion of the year, you will be charged 1/12 of the annual amount for each month you went without health insurance coverage unless you do not have to pay at all due to the short gap exemption.

If you went without health insurance during the past year, you may have to pay a penalty fee to the marketplace. The fee can vary depending on your income and how long you went without coverage. There are exemptions to this fee, so make sure you have all of the right information before filing your tax returns!

Every day with health insurance counts. Enter your zip below to compare online health insurance quotes!