Approximately 7.5 million American taxpayers paid an average penalty of $200 for not having health insurance in 2014, totaling $1.5 billion in individual shared responsibility payments.
Under the individual shared responsibility provision, individuals are required to have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, have an exemption from the requirement to have minimal essential coverage, or make an individual shared responsibility payment. The vast majority of taxpayers have coverage from one source or another, such as through the individual’s workplace, Medicare or Medicaid. These taxpayers needed to do nothing more than check a box on their 2014 tax return.
- As expected, we are seeing that about 76 percent of taxpayers (currently approximately 102 million tax returns) just checked the box to indicate they had qualifying coverage all year.
- Another approximately 7 million dependents, who do not have to report on their coverage, filed a return and did not have to do anything new this year, for a total of 81 percent of returns.
- Approximately 7.5 million taxpayers reported a total of $1.5 billion in individual shared responsibility payments.
- By contrast, about 12 million taxpayers claimed a health care coverage exemption.
- Payments were generally relatively small, with the average payment around $200.
- About 40 percent of these payments were $100 or less and about 95 percent of these payments were $500 or less.
- The vast majority – 85 percent– of taxpayers reporting a shared responsibility payment still reported a refund.