Under the Affordable Care Act, most people must purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty. This is called the “individual mandate” or “individual responsibility”. However, the Affordable Care Act exempts several groups from the individual mandate, meaning that they do not have to get health coverage. Exemptions can be filed for religious, financial, or other reasons.
For example, taxpayers with an income below the tax filing threshold and individuals who cannot afford coverage (if premium payments are more than 8 percent of household income) will be exempt. American Indians/Alaska Natives who are are enrolled members of a federally-recognized tribe or Alaska Native Corporation are also exempt. To learn more about exemptions, visit healthcare.gov.