The individual mandate for coverage
A centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act is what's commonly referred to as the "individual mandate," which requires people to either have health insurance that provides an "minimum essential" level of benefits, receive an exemption, or pay a fee at tax time.
In general, you and your dependents meet the requirement if you're covered by:
- A plan offered by an employer;
- Medicaid (or another state run plan that replaces Medicaid in your state);
- The Children's Health Insurance Program;
- Veterans Affairs health benefits;
- Tricare for military members and their families; or
- Individual insurance plans that provide at least a "bronze" level of benefits, as defined by the ACA.
If you're not sure whether your coverage qualifies, ask your plan provider.