Do I have to enroll in healthcare benefits?

Through the end of the 2018 tax year, all Americans are required to have medical insurance. This is commonly called the "individual mandate" that was established in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known simply as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare). The individual mandate expires in 2019.

You may "waive" employer-sponsored health insurance coverage during open enrollment if you're already covered (for example, through a partner's plan, a parent's plan, or Medicare). Health plans must include essential benefits.

Essential Benefits

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including dental and vision care


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