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Health Coverage Mandate

The Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance provides regular, preventive care for you and your family to stay healthy and prevent illness. Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy and can reach into the millions of dollars. Having quality health coverage gives you peace of mind knowing that if an accident or illness strikes you and your family are protected from a lifetime of financial burden.

Health Coverage is Required until 2019

Starting in 2019, there is no longer a tax penalty for failing to maintain health coverage.

However, the mandate is still in effect for 2018. This means most individuals, including your children and anyone else you claim as a dependent on your federal taxes must have health coverage in 2018 or pay a penalty. This penalty is due when you file your federal tax return by the filing deadline.

If you are covered by a government-sponsored program such as Medical Assistance (Medicaid), MinnesotaCare or Medicare Part A, you meet the requirement to maintain coverage. If you don't have health coverage or access to coverage either through your employer or a government-sponsored program, you may qualify to purchase a low-cost plan through MNsure. Coverage under a private health plan purchased through MNsure also meets the federal requirement to maintain coverage.

In 2016-2018, the penalty is the greater of:

  • 2.5 % of the amount of any taxable income that exceeds your tax filing threshold amount, or
  • $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to a maximum of $2,085).

A person will pay one-twelfth of the total annual penalty for each month without coverage.

The IRS website has resources to help calculate your penalty.

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