The Individual Mandate Fee for 2017: Not Having Health Insurance in 2017

Although the 2017 ObamaCare fee isn’t published yet, we can look at the 2016 fees to get a rough estimate of the penalty for not having health insurance in 2017.

“For 2016 the annual fee for not having insurance was $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to $2,085 for a family), or 2.5% of household income above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status – whichever is greater.”

In both cases, the fee cannot exceed the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace.

Initially, this fee was “set to be adjusted for inflation for 2017.” While some early reports suggest no changes for 2017, or just a small increase to the flat fee, or only minor changes for the future, we are all still just waiting for an official word as of October 5th, 2016.

More key facts for understanding the individual mandate penalty:

  • The proper name for “the fee” is the individual shared responsibility payment, although it is sometimes called “the individual mandate penalty.”
  • The fee is monthly. You will pay 1/12 of the total fee for each full month in which a family member went without coverage or an exemption.
  • It is the responsibility of the head of household to make sure all dependents have coverage, as even one dependent without coverage can cause the fee to be incurred.
  • If you take tax credits, you’ll need to file form 8962, and if you miss even one full month you’ll need to file the exemption form 8965.
  • Form 8965 contains the worksheet for calculating the shared responsibility payment. If you have to pay the fee, make sure to claim any exemptions you can.
  • To avoid the fee coverage must be obtained during open enrollment 2017 which starts Nov. 1, 2016, and ends Jan. 31 2017. The exceptions being those who qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, or employer coverage. As they have unique enrollment dates, the other points still apply.

Learn more about the fee at HealthCare.gov’s If you don’t have health insurance: How much you’ll pay.