How Much Is the Obamacare Tax Penalty?
There's No Federal Tax Penalty for Being Uninsured After January 2019
Legally, the Affordable Care Act -- aka Obamacare -- still says that you must have health insurance. Practically speaking, however, the tax penalty for being uninsured has dropped to zero. That means you'll still have to report your coverage status on your federal tax return, but you won't have to pay a penalty if you aren't covered.
A handful of states have passed their own health insurance requirement to replace the federal mandate. As we approach open enrollment for 2020 health plans, those states are California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Even though there's no more tax penalty in most states, it's usually unwise to go uncovered. A medical crisis could do much more damage than the former penalty would have. (A study published in 2019 showed that a lapse in health insurance coverage can double a person's chances of ending up in bankruptcy.) And if you miss open enrollment and find yourself needing coverage mid-year, you’ll have to wait until 2021 to get it.
To find out how to get covered, see How to Sign Up for Obamacare in Tennessee.
For information about costs, see How Much Does Obamacare Cost in Tennessee?.