If an individual goes without qualifying minimum essential coverage for more than a single period of up to three months in a year, he or she may owe a penalty under the Shared Responsibility payment. These have been in place since 2014 and the penalty increases annually. In 2016 and 2017, it is the higher of these amounts:
- 2.5% of annual household income above the tax filing threshold to a cap of the national average bronze plan premium OR
- $695/adult and $347.50/child under 18 to a maximum penalty of $2,085 per family
Certain exemptions do apply in the case of hardships, certain life events, and other situations. In addition, those who have no affordable coverage because the cost of annual premiums exceeds 8 percent of their household income are also exempt. One needs to apply for exemption.