As of January 1, 2019, the Individual Mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty has been effectively repealed due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which zeroed out the penalty. For 2018, most individuals were still required to maintain coverage or pay a penalty if they fail to do so when they file their 2018 federal income tax return in early 2019.
Please read our 2018 individual penalties and exemptions page for more information.
Enrollment in Individual Health Insurance
While the mandate has been effectively repealed, there are no changes to how individuals can obtain individual health insurance or the available subsidies for coverage. People can enroll in individual health insurance directly with an insurance company or through the health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal premium subsidies are only available to those who enroll in individual coverage through the marketplace. About 70 percent of people who buy coverage through the marketplaces qualify for subsidies.
The annual marketplace enrollment period begins each November 1 and ends on December 15. Individuals must enroll by the 15th of the month for coverage to take effect on the January 1.
Individuals who lose coverage or have a life event such as marriage or the birth of a child may be eligible for a special marketplace enrollment period during other times of the year.
If you have any questions about enrollment through a marketplace or want to enroll, please visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.
Tax Forms for Reporting Health Coverage
Individual reporting requirements also remain in effect under the ACA. This means that individuals must continue to report health insurance coverage on federal income tax returns. Forms 1095-A, B and/or C are sent to any person who had health coverage at any time during the previous calendar year, as outlined below:
- Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, sent to individuals who are enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace
- Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, sent to individuals who have health coverage that is not reported on Form 1095-A or Form 1095-C
- Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, sent to individuals who have coverage through applicable large employers
These forms must be sent by the end of January, following the year of coverage to help people complete their individual tax returns. 1095 Forms should also be shared with covered adult dependents who file their own taxes.
In some instances, people may receive more than one 1095 Form. For example, if an individual had more than one coverage provider or a change in coverage or employers during the year, multiple forms would be issued.
For more information on 1095 Forms, please visit the IRS's FAQ page.