The individual responsibility requirement, also known as the individual mandate, is a provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring that all citizens obtain a minimum standard of health insurance coverage.
As of January 1, 2019, you will not be charged a tax penalty for failing to maintain coverage unless you live in California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Rhode Island. Still, maintaining “Minimum Essential Coverage” can affect your eligibility for most special enrollment periods and financial assistance to purchase such coverage is available through the health insurance Marketplace. Also, health insurance coverage provides important financial protection in case you need health services such as when you are sick or have an injury. (IRS, Individual Shared Responsibility Provision.)