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I live in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid eligibility, I have low income, and I was uninsured this year. Do I have to apply to the Marketplace for an exemption?

No. A special exemption for low income individuals who reside in states that did not expand Medicaid can be claimed directly on the federal income tax return, using Form 8965.  You are eligible to claim this hardship exemption for the calendar year if, at any time during that year, you resided in a state that did not expand Medicaid coverage and if your income for that year was below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. You can also apply separately to the Marketplace for an exemption certificate to qualify for this hardship exemption; however if you do this, you will still have to file a tax return with Form 8965 and enter the number of your Marketplace exemption certificate on this form.

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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.