ACA Individual Health Insurance is still required in 2018

The media has done a terrible job of covering the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual health insurance mandate repeal in the recently signed tax reform. I can’t believe the number of people that think the penalty is gone! It is repealed but not until 2019…. SO… health insurance is still mandated for 2018. ACA penalties will still be assessed in 2019 if you did not have the proper health insurance coverage in 2018.

There are still some exemptions available for the IRS to waive the penalty, but these are not an easy solution. The most used exemptions are:

  • You were uninsured for no more than 2 consecutive months of the year
  • You lived in a state that didn’t expand its Medicaid program and your household income was below 138% of the federal poverty level.
  • The lowest-priced coverage available to you, through either a Marketplace or job-based plan, would cost more than 8.16% of your household income.
  • You incurred a hardship such as:
    • You are homeless
    • You filed for bankruptcy
    • You had medical expenses that you could not pay that resulted in substantial debt
    • You are facing an eviction or foreclosure

See healthcare.gov for other hardships. Please note that an application and an IRS approval for the exception must be granted for the hardship waivers.

For tax year 2017, the penalty is 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085. For tax year 2018, the penalty amounts have not been announced, but are expected to increase.

Please help spread the word that the ACA mandate is still in place for 2018! Stay healthy!

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