While Congressional Republicans were unable to muster the required majorities to pass several versions of House and Senate health care replacement bills, they were able to include a provision to repeal the individual mandate (i.e. the Obamacare penalty) via successfully passing their GOP tax reform bill to support President Trump’s tax reform agenda.
While the Obamacare penalty will still apply for 2017 and 2018 tax filings per the table below, for 2019 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate provision requiring every eligible American to obtain health insurance or pay financial penalty when filing taxes has been permanently scrapped.
|Year||Penalty (Single)||Penalty (Family)||Maximum Penalty|
|2019||No penalty||No penalty||No penalty|
|2018||$695 or 2.5% of income||$2,085 or 2.5% of income||$13,100|
|2017||$695 or 2.5% of income||$2,085 or 2.5% of income||$13,100|
|2016||$695 or 2.5% of income||$2,085 or 2.5% of income||$13,000|
|2015||$325 or 2% of income||$975 or 2% of income||$12,500|
|2014||$95 or 1% of income||$285 or 1% of income||$9,800|
The individual mandate repeal does not mean that Obamacare or the broader ACA is dead – health insurance marketplaces and provisions like coverage for children under 26 are still in place. But it does deal a massive blow to the long term sustainability of ACA as it was based on ensuring enough healthy people buying health insurance (hence the penalty) to offset costs for providing subsidizing insurance to those who could not afford or were ineligible for employer sponsored insurance.