The Affordable Care Act required all citizens to obtain a minimum standard of health insurance coverage, receive an exemption or pay an
extra fee (a tax) when filing their federal income tax return through the 2018 plan year.
After 2018, you must still maintain coverage, although you will not be charged a tax penalty unless you live in Massachusetts,
New Jersey or the District of Columbia. Still, maintaining “Minimum Essential Coverage” is required by federal law, and obtaining
such coverage determines your eligibility for premium tax credits and most special enrollment periods. Health insurance coverage
also provides important financial protection in case you need medical attention, such as when you are sick or have an injury.
People can obtain the necessary coverage through their job, through a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare or through the health insurance
marketplace in their state.
Exemptions from the individual mandate - the penalty for not having insurance - are also available to those who qualify. Most exemptions can be
obtained through the tax-filing process, but certain exemptions must be applied for and granted through the health insurance marketplace.
If you cannot obtain coverage through your employer, the following options are available.
Individual Health Insurance Companies