Do I have to pay the health insurance penalty if I'm unemployed?
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (aka Tax Reform) won't eliminate the Affordable Care Act penalty until tax year 2019. Until then, the ACA penalty will still apply to 2017 and 2018 returns.
The Affordable Care Act requires that you either have health insurance or pay a penalty on your taxes, unless you qualify for an exemption based on your situation. Being unemployed is not one of those exemptions.
However, if your 2018 income is below the amount that requires you to file a federal tax return, you can claim a health coverage exemption and won’t have to pay the penalty for 2018.
Once you answer the questions in the Health Insurance section of your federal return, we'll check to see if you qualify for this exemption and tell you what you need to do next.