LawByZipcode >


State Obamacare Coverage Rules 2021

Do You Have to Get Health Insurance?

Updated: 2020-07-28 by
Learn whether you must have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in your state.


As we head into open enrollment for 2021 insurance plans, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. And, technically speaking, the law still says that you must have health insurance. But -- and this is a big but -- the tax penalty for going without health insurance has been reduced to zero. 

No Federal Penalty for Being Uninsured

What that means is that you'll still have to report your coverage status on your federal tax return, but you won't have to pay a federal tax penalty if you're not covered.

Some States Now Have Health Insurance Mandates

That said, a handful of states have passed their own health insurance requirements. If you live in one of these states -- California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Rhode Island -- you may owe a state tax penalty unless you are exempt from the state's law.

To learn more, select your state from the list on this page.

You may also be interested in:

  • How to Sign Up for Obamacare

    Where to go in your state to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.

  • What You Need to Know About Obamacare for 2021

    Essential facts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in your state, including whether you must get health insurance, how much it will cost, and how you can save money.

  • How Much Is the Obamacare Tax Penalty?

    The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) tax penalty has been set to zero, but some states have enacted their own health insurance requirements.