2018 Penalty

Open Enrollment for
2019 coverage begins
Last day to enroll for coverage starting on January 1, 2019
Last day to enroll for
2019 coverage

Starting in 2019, there is no requirement for individuals to have a Qualified Health Plan or pay a penalty. However, for 2018, the penalty remains the law. All U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to have health insurance in 2018 or face a tax penalty. Health insurance can include insurance through your job, coverage you buy on your own, Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or Medicare.

What is the fine?

The penalty for not having health insurance in 2018 is $695 per person or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is greater. Health insurance through your job, coverage purchased through Connect for Health Colorado, Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or Medicare all meet the federal requirement to be covered. Learn more about the requirement to have Minimum Essential Coverage.

Tax Penalty

Do I still need health insurance?

The answer is “YES!” Not having health insurance leaves you vulnerable to unexpected and costly medical bills. Did you know the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000? Make sure your health and finances are protected with health insurance. This year’s Open Enrollment Period runs from Nov. 1, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2019.

Outside of the Open Enrollment Period, you may still be able to enroll under certain scenarios such as moving, having a baby, getting married or losing employer-sponsored health insurance. You must apply for the new coverage within 60 days of the Qualified Life Change Event.

Exempt from the penalty for your 2018 taxes?

Individuals in the following situations can get an exemption from the law:

  1. People who qualify for religious exemptions
  2. Immigrants who are not lawfully present
  3. People who are incarcerated
  4. Members of federally-recognized tribes and certain other Native Americans

Other exemptions could include:

  1. The cost of insurance was deemed “unaffordable.” If the lowest cost Bronze-level Marketplace plan available to you in 2018 cost more than 8.16 percent of your household income. Use the tool below to determine if this applies to you.
  2. Being homeless
  3. Eviction in the past 6 months or were facing eviction or foreclosure
  4. Experiencing a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property
  5. Filing for bankruptcy in the last 6 months
  6. Having medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months

Calculating an Affordability Exemption

If the lowest cost Bronze-level Marketplace plan available to you in 2018 cost more than 8.16 percent of your household income, you qualify for a health coverage exemption. This means you wouldn’t have to pay the fee for any months you were uncovered in 2018.

IMPORTANT: The only way to know if you qualify for this exemption is to complete your 2018 federal income tax return.

Note: The tool below has not yet been updated with 2018 plan information.

Find your lowest cost Bronze-level plan

If you believe any of the above exemptions or circumstances applies to you, you can find the appropriate forms and more information here.

How to Confirm Your Coverage

In January 2019, we will send you a Form 1095-A with more information on how to confirm your coverage and/or the amount of advance premium tax credit you received to help pay for your premiums in 2018. Learn more.

2017 Tax Information