Updated: 2020-10-02 by
There's No Federal Tax Penalty for Being Uninsured
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 2021 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 the upcoming open enrollment period for 2021 health plans and find yourself needing coverage mid-year, you’ll have to wait until 2022 to get it.
To find out how to get covered, see How to Sign Up for Obamacare in Pennsylvania.
For information about costs, see How Much Does Obamacare Cost in Pennsylvania?.
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Essential facts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in Pennsylvania, including whether you must get health insurance, how much it will cost, and how you can save money.
Where to go in Pennsylvania to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.
Learn the five factors that determine what residents of Pennsylvania will pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act