The Tax Penalty is also called the "shared responsibility payment" and "shared responsibility fee". All three are the same thing. As of 2014, Individuals who do not have health insurance may have to pay a fee on their taxes.
If your income level qualifies you for the minimum flat dollar fee, then you will be charged half the amount of the adult minimum flat dollar fee ($325 per person for 2015) for each uninsured child under age 18.
The tax penalty per family is capped at triple the per-person tax regardless of how many individuals are in the taxpayer’s household. For example, a married couple with one child or four children would pay the same minimum of $285 in 2014, $975 in 2015 and $2,085 in 2016. This would be the minimum tax penalty no matter how many uninsured dependents a taxpayer has.
The maximum tax penalty can never exceed the cost of the national average premiums for the lowest-cost “bronze” plans being offered through the Health Insurance exchanges (i.e. Covered California). Unfortunately, it is hard to predict what average rate of the bronze plan might turn out to be in the future. For 2014, the monthly national average premium for bronze-level qualified health was:
Typically, Individual Health Insurance rates increase every January, so presumably the maximum will continue to increase year after year.
The tax penalty is assessed for each month that a person is not covered. It is pro-rated, so that a person who is not covered for only a single month would pay 1/12th of the tax that would be due for the full year. For example, the minimum tax per person for failing to get coverage would be $7.92 for each month of 2014, $28.75 for each month of 2015, and $57.92 for each month of 2016, when fully phased in.
You will have to pay a Tax Penalty when you file your taxes if you do not have health insurance or an exemption. There are nine ways to qualify for an exemption. Covered California does not run the exemption process. Exemption applications are now available from the federal government. For more information and links to the applications, visit https://www.healthcare.gov. If you have questions about exemptions, please call the federal Marketplace Services at (800) 318-2596.
You can apply to the federal Marketplace Services to see if you meet one of these nine different ways to qualify for an exemption:
Start by filling out an application for the type of exemption you think you should get (View the Applications for Exemptions table). Then, send the completed application to the address listed on the application. Do not send your application to Covered California. You can claim some exemptions when you file your federal tax return. If you wish, you may apply for some exemptions before you file your federal tax return. Please refer to the Applications for Exemptions table to see which exemptions you can or cannot claim on your tax return.
The federal government should respond to your application within two weeks. If you do not hear from anyone, call (800) 318-2596.
Please use the Healthcare.gov tool to find health coverage exemptions that may apply to you.