Tax Penalty Details and Exemptions

Most people are required to have health insurance through an employer, a government health program or a health plan they purchase themselves. Those who did not have health insurance in 2018 will pay a tax penalty. Some people qualify for an exemption from this requirement, and they do not have to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

The annual penalty is the greater of:

  • $695 for each adult and $347.50 for each child, up to $2,085 per family.
  • 2.5 percent of the tax filer’s annual household income minus the federal tax filing threshold.

There will be no tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2019. Though there will be no financial penalty, it is risky to opt out of coverage. An accident, injury, or illness could be devastating without the protection of health insurance.    

Exemptions From the Tax Penalty for 2018

Covered California does not determine exemptions and does not issue certificates of exemptions. Exemption applications are available from the federal government. For more information and links to the application, visit  or call the federal marketplace at (800) 318-2596.