Home Affordable Care Act Is Individual Shared Responsibility Your Responsibility?

Is Individual Shared Responsibility Your Responsibility?

2 minute read
by Robert Sheen

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the goal in mind is to ensure that every American has received or has been given access to adequate health coverage. While many consider this a blessing, others do not welcome the required health coverage. Under the ACA, those who do not have minimum essential health coverage are subject to fees unless exempt from an individual shared responsibility payment.

If you had minimum essential coverage for 2015, simply check the box indicating so on your 2015 tax return. In 2015, if you did not have minimum essential health coverage for the year or for a period(s) throughout the year, you must make an individual shared responsibility payment for yourself and your dependents. The premium cost of bronze-level insurance averages about $2,484 a year for an individual and $12,240 for a family of five-plus members. The individual shared responsibility payment for 2015, then, would be $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, not to exceed $975. The amount has been determined by the percentage deducted from the minimum amount one must make in 2015 in order to file a tax return. For gaps in coverage, a short-term gap exemption is determined upon the length of time without coverage. Consult the IRS website to determine the payment you must make minus the months of coverage.

Please note that health insurance offered through your employer typically qualifies as minimum essential coverage, as well as many other health insurance plans such as those offered in the Marketplace. Government-secured coverage such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and TRICARE also qualify as minimum essential health coverage. However, a la carte coverage, including vision and dental (purchased individually), are not standalone qualifiers of minimum essential health coverage. Having a clear understanding of qualifying coverage prior to obtaining such coverage and filing your tax return will prevent any unnecessary individual shared responsibility payments.

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