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It never stops.
No matter the day or time I talk to uninsured callers, I consistently discover they are unaware of the exemptions and waivers for not having health insurance. When I start educating them about the process, they often say “Doc, I didn't know that!” Whose responsibility is it to tell them this critical information? The tax preparer, the accountant, or the government who instituted these exemptions and waivers in the first place? Whether or not you can answer that question, I decided to share the answers in this post. Why? Even with the enrollment period for 2015 being over, there are some of you reading this that will be affected because you didn’t purchase health insurance. Based upon caller demand, I decided to share my insight with you so can decide if these measures apply to your situation.
Let’s start with the basic exemptions
- You can be uninsured for two consecutive months and not be penalized.
- If you don’t have to file a tax return because your income is below the level where you are required to file. For 2014, that amount was $10,150. This time they have not given a number.
- If the lowest priced coverage that is available to you through the Marketplace or a job based plan would cost more than 8.05% of your household income.
- If you belong to a health sharing ministry such as Medishare, Samaritan Ministries or Liberty Share.
- If you lived in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid and you would otherwise qualify for Medicaid
Now’s let us turn our attention to the hardship exemptions:
- If you were a victim of domestic violence Homeless
- If you were evicted in the past six months or were facing foreclosure
- Death of a close family member
- Did you receive a shutoff notice from your utility company?
- If you had medical expenses that you couldn’t pay in the last 24 month that truly makes sense.
- Getting health insurance isn’t going to help that. Were you caring for an ill, disabled or aging family member and had an increase unexpectedly?
Those are just a few of the examples of the basic exemptions and the hardships. Did you discover that you paid the penalty when you could have been exempt? Why not, file an appeal and see what happens? Otherwise, that money could be lost forever. Have questions? Contact Dr. Taffy at 303-576-0670. She is an educator on Obamacare and more than happy to answer your questions.
Twitter name: @ownurhealthcare