How to Avoid the Penalty for not having Health Insurance

If you did not have health insurance in 2014, then you may have a higher tax bill when you file your tax return. This is because the Individual Mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, requires individuals to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

The good news for the uninsured is that if you qualify for an exemption, you will avoid the penalty. The well-known exemptions are things like:

  • You were uninsured for less than 3 months of the year
  • You are a member of a religious sect with objections to insurance
  • The cost is 8% or more of your household income

But, did you know that there are also hardship exemptions available? Some examples of the hardship exemptions include:

  • You were homeless
  • You were evicted in the past 6 months or were facing eviction or foreclosure
  • You received a shut-off notice from a utility company
  • You had medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months that resulted in substantial debt
  • You experienced the death of a close family member

Go to the Health Care Exchange website to see the complete list of exemption possibilities.

Many of these exemptions need a certificate from the Exchange acknowledging your hardship as valid. So, if you think you qualify you should apply now to ensure you have the certificate in hand before April 15th. The Health Care Exchange website has all the details about applying for the exemption.

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