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I didn’t apply for a hardship exemption from the Marketplace during Open Enrollment. Is it too late to apply for a hardship exemption for this year?

No, you can apply to the Marketplace for a hardship exemption at any time during the year.  Most hardship exemptions will be granted for the month before the hardship, the months of the hardship, and the month after the hardship. You will need to document the timing of the hardship in your application.    For people ineligible for Medicaid only because their state hasn’t expanded Medicaid eligibility, the hardship exemption will be granted for the entire calendar year.  You can claim this exemption directly on your tax return; you are not required to apply for the exemption from the Marketplace.  However, if you do apply for this type of hardship exemption from the Marketplace, you will also have to apply for Medicaid coverage and be denied, then submit the Medicaid denial to the Marketplace with your hardship exemption application.  If you need help applying for an exemption, you can contact the Marketplace call center or a Navigator or other in-person assister.  Your Marketplace website has a list of Navigators and other assisters.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.