by Chris Huckins Google+ Email 


19 September 2014

How Much Will I Owe Obamacare for Not Having Health Insurance?

Posted in Health Insurance 101

How Much Will I Owe Obamacare for Not Having Health Insurance?

I don’t wanna wait for the next open enrollment.
I want to get a plan. What will it be? 
I don’t wanna wait for the next open enrollment.
Will I enroll or will I pay… a penalty?
Doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo doo.

Yes that was the theme of Dawson’s Creek. Why does an Obamacare blog reference an 11-year old melodrama whose star recently became a vaccine spokesman? That’s one reason. Obamacare covers all vaccines so your insurance company doesn't charge you. What happens if you don’t have insurance? Not only will you pay out of pocket at the next doctor's visit, but you’ll owe the IRS on your next tax returns. Wait, what?

Doo doo doo doo doo.

It’s neither too early to prepare for flu season nor Obamacare’s next open enrollment period, which starts and ends the same time: November 15 – February 15. Coincidence? It's a chance to get insurance if you haven't had coverage all year. If you didn't carry health insurance in 2014, you must pay a fine (tax) on your upcoming tax return.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans who buy health insurance plans that comply with Obamacare are exempt from paying the fine also known as the “individual shared responsibility payment”.

Health insurance plans with minimal essential coverage include:

Health insurance you purchase individually or as a family

Health insurance from the Exchange (Covered California in this state)

Health insurance from a student health plan

Health insurance from work

Coverage under government organizations: Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP

(Complete list of minimal essential coverage plans)

They do not include:

Workers’ compensation

Standalone dental or vision insurance

Disability income insurance

Plans that provide limited benefits

(Complete list of plans without minimal essential coverage)

But if you experienced a financial hardship, are a member of a recognized Native American Tribe, or you just don’t have to file a tax return, you’re excluded from owing the shared responsibility payment.

(Complete list of Obamacare exemptions)

Even kids under 18 and seniors are subject to the Obamacare tax. That tax will depend on your income, family size, and each month you didn’t have insurance.

For the first year, you could owe whichever is greater:

  • $95 per adult without insurance and $47.50 per child 


  • 1 percent of your annual income

So unless you make around $9500, you’ll likely pay 1% of your annual income as an Obamacare tax. Here are some examples from the IRS to better understand what you owe. You can cry over it once you exhaust your Dawson's Creek tissues.


Doo doo doo doo doo.