The Tax Penalty

It’s the law. All U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to have health insurance 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.

We can help you:

  • Save on your monthly health insurance costs
  • Avoid a penalty at the end of the year
  • Get the peace of mind health insurance provides in the event of an emergency or long-term health issue

Important Dates

Avoid the Penalty

Make sure you are covered in 2017 to avoid a fine. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2017 will be $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

When Can I Enroll?

This year, Open Enrollment is Nov. 1, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2017. Outside of the Open Enrollment Period, you can only enroll or change your health insurance coverage within 60 days of a Life Change Event.

Exempt from the Law?

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

  1. People who qualify for religious exemptions
  2. Undocumented immigrants
  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 2016 cost more than 8.05 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 2016 cost more than 8.05 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 2016.

IMPORTANT: The only way to know if you qualify for this exemption is to complete your 2016 federal income tax return.

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.

Don’t just take it from us – hear what others have to say about the tax penalty.

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How to confirm your coverage

In January 2017, 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 2016. Learn more.

2015 Tax Information