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Individual Responsibility Requirement (Individual Mandate)

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 starting in 2014, obtain an exemption, or pay an extra fee (a tax) when filing their federal income tax return. People can obtain the necessary coverage through their job, through a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare, or through the health insurance marketplace in their state. Exemptions from the individual mandate are also available to those that qualify. Most exemptions can be obtained through the tax filing process, but certain exemptions must be applied for and granted through the health insurance marketplace. 

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