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I Qualify for an Affordable Care Act Exemption. Do I Still Have Time to Apply?

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The deadline for filing 2014 tax returns by April 15 is fast approaching. But you still have time to file for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires people to pay a tax penalty if they didn’t have health insurance in 2014.

This is the first time people will have to pay the tax penalty for lacking insurance, unless they qualify for one of the more than 30 exemptions identified by the federal government.

The 2014 non-coverage penalty is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (capped at $285 for families) or 1 percent of taxable household income – whichever amount is greater.

Most exemptions can be claimed right on your federal tax form. But some exemptions require applying to a Health Insurance Marketplace in advance.

Claiming an exemption on your federal tax form

You can claim an exemption directly on your tax form for many reasons. These include people with incomes below the IRS filing threshold and if the lowest cost Bronze level Marketplace plan available to you in 2014 cost more than 8% of your household income.

Requesting an exemption from the Health Insurance Marketplace

Some non-coverage exemptions, however, require applying to a Health Insurance Marketplace in advance for an exemption certificate number (ECN). These include “hardship” exemptions due to domestic violence, homelessness, recent bankruptcy and more. If you are waiting for an ECN you can enter “pending” on your tax return.

For a list of exemptions, visit HealthCare.gov or try the IRS free online tool to see if you qualify.

Still need to file your taxes? TurboTax has you covered and makes it easy to report your health care status on your taxes.



Magaly Olivero
Magaly Olivero

Written by Magaly Olivero

Magaly Olivero is an award-winning writer and has written for many national and regional media outlets, as well as corporate and nonprofit clients in the healthcare, tax and education industries. Her publishing credits include U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, The New York Times, Working Woman, Better Homes and Gardens and the Connecticut Health Investigative Team. Magaly is a recipient of a National Journalism Fellowship from the University of California Annenberg School of Communication and a Health Coverage Fellowship from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

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