Does the health care reform law require everyone to buy health insurance?

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If you're wondering whether you need to purchase health insurance, this article will help you make that decision.

The goal of health care reform is to make health insurance affordable and available to all Americans. And the law requires nearly all Americans to have health coverage. Most coverage satisfies this requirement, including:

  • Insurance you get from an employer
  • Insurance you buy yourself
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Active duty military and retiree coverage
  • Peace Corps coverage

If you can afford health care coverage but choose not to buy it, you’ll have to pay extra on your taxes. Some people qualify for an exemption from this. You may be exempt if:

  • You’re a low-income individual
  • You’re a Native American
  • You live outside the U.S. 

To learn more about fees and exemptions, visit