Is there still an Obamacare penalty?


Q. Is still a penalty if you skip signing up for health care for 2018?
— Not sure

A. Yes, there is still a penalty if you do not sign up for health insurance in 2018.

The new tax bill does not eliminate the penalty until 2019, said Bryan Smalley, a certified financial planner with RegentAtlantic in Morristown.

For those who do not sign up for health insurance in 2018, here is how the penalty works.

Smalley said your tax is the greater of either a flat-dollar amount based on the number of uninsured people in your household, or a percentage of your income (up to the national average cost of a Bronze plan, as determined by the IRS).

“The flat-dollar amount is $695 per adult and $347.50 per child and is capped at $2,085 per family,” he said. “The income percentage amount is 2.5 percent of household income.”

Smalley said for 2018, the cap is yet to be determined because it will be based on the national average cost of a Bronze plan in 2018. In 2017, the average cost of a Bronze plan was $3,264 per individual and $16,320 for a family of five or more, he said.

Smalley said it’s important to note that not all uninsured people are subject to a penalty.

In fact, he said, more uninsured people received an exemption than those who paid a penalty in 2015.

“There are exemptions to the penalty which range from hardship exemptions to religious exemptions and others based on your level of income,” Smalley said.

You can learn more about the exemptions available at

Email your questions to moc.p1582621657leHye1582621657noMJN1582621657@ksA1582621657.