Individual Mandate

I heard the Obamacare individual mandate ended. Does it still make sense to sign up?

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Yes.  Congress did eliminate the tax penalty for not having health insurance, starting January 1, 2019.  While there is no longer a federal tax penalty for being uninsured, some states have enacted individual mandates and may apply a state tax penalty if you lack health coverage for the year.  Regardless of any tax penalty, it is still important to have insurance coverage in case you get sick.

Open Enrollment for the coming year still takes place every fall.  Uninsured individuals who need coverage can apply for health plans and financial help during Open Enrollment. People already enrolled in private policies should return to the Marketplace to review their plan choices and renew or change coverage, and to update their application for financial assistance.  And the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs remain open for enrollment year-round for individuals who are eligible for this public coverage.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.