Individual Mandate

I’m uninsured. Am I required to get health insurance?

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Congress eliminated the federal tax penalty for not having health insurance, effective January 1, 2019.

Several states have adopted individual mandates with state tax penalties for not having health insurance.  These include California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.  Vermont also has an individual mandate but has not yet imposed a tax penalty for not having coverage.   Other states are considering individual mandates; check with your tax adviser for more information.

Regardless of the penalty, it is important to have health coverage if you can.  Health insurance continues to be offered during annual Open Enrollment periods.  If you don’t sign up during Open Enrollment, you might have to wait up to one year for your next opportunity to enroll.

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.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.