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The Individual Mandate Lingers On.

You may have heard the Tax Cut and Jobs Act eliminated the ObamaCare individual mandate penalty, but the headlines don't tell the whole story: The penalty is not gone for 2017, and not gone for 2018. It is not gone until January 2019. And if you don't maintain coverage until then, you face a substantial penalty.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act individuals must be covered by a health plan that provides at least minimum essential coverage, or be subject to a tax for failure to maintain the coverage.

Minimum essential coverage includes government-sponsored programs (including Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, among others), eligible employer-sponsored plans, plans in the individual market, grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered health insurance coverage.

The tax is imposed for any month that an individual does not have minimum essential coverage.
For 2017, the penalty is the greater of 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, to a maximum of $2,085.

For 2018, the penalty continues, indexed for inflation.

It is not until January 1, 2019 that the penalty is reduced to $0.


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