Penalty Details and Exemptions

The state of California is helping to lower costs for health coverage and is reinstating the Affordable Care Act penalty for not having health insurance.

Make sure you have health coverage: On Jan. 1, 2020 a new rule requires Californians to have qualifying health insurance coverage throughout the year. If you, your spouse or domestic partner and dependents don’t have coverage each month, you could face a penalty at tax time, unless you qualify for an exemption.

Generally speaking, the penalty will be $695 or more when you file your 2020 state income tax return in 2021. The penalty for a dependent child is half of what it would be for an adult. A typical family of four that goes uninsured for the whole year would face a penalty of at least $2,000.

The penalty will be applied by the California Franchise Tax Board when you file your state tax return. For information about the penalty, including the amount your family could owe for not having coverage in 2020, please visit the Franchise Tax Board’s website.  

Covered California is here to help you avoid a penalty.  If you don’t have coverage now, you can Shop and Compare for a health plan that makes sense for you and your family. 

Exemptions available: Most exemptions from the mandate can be claimed when filing 2020 state income tax returns. Additional exemptions from the mandate will be granted through Covered California.

To find out more about exemptions, visit the California Franchise Tax Board website.