Do I Have to Get Health Insurance in Vermont?
The short answer is yes -- beginning January 1, 2020, Vermont law requires you to have health insurance. Since the federal penalty for going without health insurance went away in 2019, a handful of states -- including Vermont -- have passed their own health insurance requirements. That said, Vermont is not yet imposing a financial penalty for ignoring the law.
Vermont lawmakers were charged with determining what the new tax penalty should be, but they were unable to agree on a plan. That means you'll have to report whether you had 2020 coverage when you file your Vermont tax return in 2021 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 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?
You may also be interested in:
Where to go in Vermont to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.
Essential facts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in Vermont, including whether you must get health insurance, how much it will cost, and how you can save money.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) tax penalty has been set to zero, but some states have enacted their own health insurance requirements.