Most people must have health insurance or pay a fee (penalty) for not having coverage.
However, people who qualify for a health coverage exemption don’t have to pay the fee.
Update: December 22, 2017
President Trump signed into law a tax bill which includes a provision eliminating the penalty for not buying health insurance.
It takes effect starting January 2019.
Exemptions are granted based on certain hardships and life events, health coverage or financial status, membership in some groups, and other circumstances.
• Have insurance or pay a penalty?
• What qualifies as a hardship exemption?