Are there exemptions to the penalty? What are they?
Yes. You may be eligible for an exemption if you:
- Cannot afford coverage (defined as those who would pay more than 8.05 percent of their household income for the lowest cost bronze plan available to them through the Marketplace in 2018)
- Are not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a resident alien lawfully present in the U.S.
- Had a gap in coverage for less than 3 consecutive months during the year
- Won’t file a tax return because your income is below the tax filing threshold (For the 2017 tax year, the filing threshold is $10,400 for individuals and $20,800 for married persons filing a joint return)
- Are unable to qualify for Medicaid because your state has chosen not to expand the program
- Participate in a health care sharing ministry or are a member of a recognized religious sect with objections to health insurance
- Are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
- Are incarcerated
Others who do not qualify through these categories but have experienced a hardship that makes it difficult to purchase insurance may apply through the health insurance Marketplace for an exemption to the individual responsibility requirement.