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Individual Shared Responsibility Provision – Calculating the Payment

 

The individual shared responsibility provision requires you and each member of your family to either have basic health insurance coverage (also known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return. It is important to remember that choosing to make the individual shared responsibility payment instead of purchasing minimum essential coverage means you will also have to pay the entire cost of all your medical care. You won't be protected from the kind of very high medical bills that can sometimes lead to bankruptcy.

If you must make an individual shared responsibility payment with your return, the annual payment amount is the greater of a percentage of your household income or a flat dollar amount, but is capped at the national average premium for a bronze level health plan available through the Marketplace. You will owe 1/12th of the annual payment for each month you or your dependent(s) don’t have either coverage or an exemption.

For 2014, the annual payment amount is:

  • The greater of:
    • 1 percent of your household income that is above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status, or
    • Your family’s flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, limited to a family maximum of $285,
  • But capped at the cost of the national average premium for a bronze level health plan available through the Marketplace in 2014.

Calculating your payment requires you to know your household income and your tax return filing threshold.

  • Household income is the adjusted gross income from your tax return plus any excludible foreign earned income and tax-exempt interest you receive during the taxable year. Household income also includes the incomes of all of your dependents who are required to file tax returns.
  • Tax return filing threshold is the amount of gross income an individual of your age and with your filing status (e.g., single, married filing jointly, head of household) must make to be required to file a tax return.

2014 Federal Tax Filing Requirement Thresholds

Filing Status Age Must File a Return If Gross Income Exceeds
Single Under 65 $10,150
  65 or older $11,700
Head of Household Under 65 $13,050
  65 or older $14,600
Married Filing Jointly  Under 65 (both spouses) $20,300
  65 or older (one spouse) $21,500
  65 or older (both spouses) $22,700
Married Filing Separately  Any age $3,950
Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Children Under 65 $16,350
  65 or older $17,550

 

Examples

In the examples below, we assume that the payment amounts do not exceed the national average premium for bronze level coverage for the individuals involved. These examples are used only to represent the mechanics of calculating the payment and are not estimates of current or future health insurance premium costs. For information on the cost of bronze level plans, visit HealthCare.gov.

Example 1: Single individual with $40,000 income

Jim, an unmarried individual with no dependents, does not have minimum essential coverage for any month during 2014 and does not qualify for an exemption. For 2014, Jim’s household income is $40,000 and his filing threshold is $10,150.

  • To determine his payment using the income formula, subtract $10,150 (filing threshold) from $40,000 (2014 household income). The result is $29,850. One percent of $29,850 equals $298.50.
  • Jim’s flat dollar amount is $95.

Because $298.50 is greater than $95 (and is less than the national average premium for bronze level coverage for 2014), Jim’s shared responsibility payment for 2014 is $298.50, or $24.87 for each month he is uninsured (1/12 of $298.50 equals $24.87).

Jim will make his shared responsibility payment for the months he was uninsured when he files his 2014 income tax return, which is due in April 2015.

Example 2: Married couple with 2 children, $70,000 income

Eduardo and Julia are married and have two children under 18. They do not have minimum essential coverage for any family member for any month during 2014 and no one in the family qualifies for an exemption. For 2014, their household income is $70,000 and their filing threshold is $20,300.

  • To determine their payment using the income formula, subtract $20,300 (filing threshold) from $70,000 (2014 household income). The result is $49,700. One percent of $49,700 equals $497.
  • Eduardo and Julia’s flat dollar amount is $285, or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child. The total of $285 is the flat dollar amount in 2014.

Because $497 is greater than $285 (and is less than the national average premium for bronze level coverage for 2014), Eduardo and Julia’s shared responsibility payment is $497 for 2014, or $41.41 per month for each month the family is uninsured (1/12 of $497 equals $41.41).

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-Mar-2014

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