People are generally required to be covered by a health insurance policy which meets minimum standards or pay a tax penalty.
For those who are uninsured and do not meet one of the exemptions, the penalty for 2016 is calculated as the greater of two amounts:
- A flat dollar amount equal to $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085 for the family.
- 2.5% of family income in excess of the 2015 income tax filing thresholds ($10,300 for a single person and $20,600 for a family).
The penalty can be no more than the national average premium for a bronze plan (the minimum coverage available in the individual insurance market under the ACA), which was $2,484 in 2015 for single coverage and $12,420 for a family of three or more children. The penalty is pro-rated for people who are uninsured for a portion of the year and waived for people who have a period without insurance of less than three months.
The penalty amounts have increased substantially since 2014.