Yes -- but no. Techincally, Vermont law required you to have health insurance beginning in 2020. Vermont lawmakers intended this law to replace the federal penalty for going without health insurance, which disappeared in 2019.
That said, lawmakers were unable to agree on a plan for the penalty. That means you'll have to report whether you had 2021 coverage when you file your Vermont tax return in 2022 but, unless lawmakers change the current rules, you won't have to pay anything if you were uninsured.
To meet the requirements of Vermont's (currently toothless) individual insurance mandate, you must have what's called "minimum essential coverage." In Vermont, minimum essential coverage is the same for purposes of state law as it is under the federal Affordable Care Act.
What Qualifies as Minimum Essential Coverage in Vermont?
If you have any of the following types of health coverage, you'll meet the requirements of the Vermont individual insurance mandate:
- an individual insurance plan, whether purchased on your own or through Vermont Health Connect, the exchange serving Vermont
- a plan (including COBRA or a retiree plan) provided by your employer
- Medicare, Medicaid, or coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- TRICARE (coverage from the U.S. military)
- coverage under a veterans health care program
- coverage through the Peace Corps, or
- any other coverage that meets the requirements of Vermont's Department of Financial Regulation.
If you aren’t sure whether your current plan qualifies, talk to the plan provider.
What Doesn’t Qualify as Minimum Essential Coverage?
Some types of health plans don’t meet the requirements for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. These include vision insurance, dental insurance, workers’ compensation, coverage that is limited to a specific condition, and plans that offer only discounted medical services.
To find out how to obtain coverage, see How to Sign Up for Obamacare in Vermont.
For information about costs, see How Much Does Obamacare Cost in Vermont?