Exemptions to Paying a Fee

For every month that you didn't have health insurance during 2017, you must either claim an exemption for that month or pay a fee.

While most exemptions can be claimed while filing your tax return using FreeTaxUSA, a few must be applied for ahead of time through the Marketplace where you'll be given a certificate number to enter as an exemption code. Don't worry if you haven't applied for these specific exemptions or received your certificate number yet. You can still apply and file your return immediately by entering "Pending" as the certificate number.

You can use the exemptions tool on HealthCare.gov to find out if you qualify for a penalty exemption.

See the chart below to see which exemptions can be claimed on your tax return and which must be applied for through the Marketplace.

Coverage Exemption Claimed on Tax Return Granted by Marketplace

You went uninsured or unexempt for less than 3 consecutive months during the year. If you have more than one short coverage gap during a year, this exemption only applies to the first gap.

Yes

The lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8.16% of your household income.

Yes

You don't have to file a tax return because your income is too low. If you don't have to file a tax return and choose not to, you don't need to do anything to claim this coverage exemption.

Yes

You're a U.S. citizen who spent at least 330 full days outside of the U.S. during a 12-month period or are a bona fide resident of a foreign country or U.S. territory; or, you're a non-U.S. citizen who is not lawfully present in the U.S.

Yes

If you had or adopted a child, you don't need to have insurance for the child for the months before the child was born or adopted.

If a member of your household died, you don't need to have insurance for that person for the months after his or her death.

Yes

You're a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider. The coverage exemption for members of Indian tribes is no longer granted by the Marketplace, except in Connecticut.

Yes

You're a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.

Yes

You were in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility after the disposition of charges.

Yes

You didn't qualify for Medicaid solely because your state didn't participate in Medicaid expansion.

If your household income was below 138% of the federal poverty line for your family size you can claim the exemption on your return. Otherwise, it will need to be granted by the Marketplace.

Yes Yes

You're a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare. If you've applied for this exemption and haven't received your certificate number, you can still file your tax return and enter "Pending" for your certificate number.

Yes
  • You were homeless.
  • You were evicted or were facing eviction or foreclosure.
  • You received a shut-off notice from a utility company.
  • You experienced domestic violence.
  • You experienced the death of a close family member.
  • You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property.
  • You filed for bankruptcy.
  • You had medical expenses you couldn't pay that resulted in substantial debt.
  • You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.
  • You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who's been denied coverage in Medicaid and CHIP, and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child.
  • As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you're eligible for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, lower costs on your monthly premiums, or cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren't enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace.
  • You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn't expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Your individual insurance plan was cancelled and you believe other Marketplace plans are unaffordable.
  • You experienced a hardship that kept you from getting health insurance that's not already listed.

If you've applied for this exemption and haven't received your certificate number, you can still file your tax return and enter "Pending" for your certificate number.

Yes

You didn't have access to affordable coverage based on your projected household income.

Yes

You had a type of Medicaid coverage wasn't considered minimum essential coverage. These could include coverage to a pregnant woman, medically needy individual (Spend-down Medicaid or Share-of-Cost Medicaid), or a medically needy individual enrolled in Medicaid but without coverage since the spend-down hasn't been met, if the specific plan wasn't considered minimum essential coverage.

Yes
Start your free return to claim your exemptions
Coverage Exemption Claimed on Tax Return

You went uninsured or unexempt for less than 3 consecutive months during the year. If you have more than one short coverage gap during a year, this exemption only applies to the first gap.

Yes

The lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8.16% of your household income.

Yes

You don't have to file a tax return because your income is too low. If you don't have to file a tax return and choose not to, you don't need to do anything to claim this coverage exemption.

Yes

You're a U.S. citizen who spent at least 330 full days outside of the U.S. during a 12-month period or are a bona fide resident of a foreign country or U.S. territory; or, you're a non-U.S. citizen who is not lawfully present in the U.S.

Yes

If you had or adopted a child, you don't need to have insurance for the child for the months before the child was born or adopted.

If a member of your household died, you don't need to have insurance for that person for the months after his or her death.

Yes

You're a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider. The coverage exemption for members of Indian tribes is no longer granted by the Marketplace, except in Connecticut.

Yes

You're a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.

Yes

You were in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility after the disposition of charges.

Yes

You didn't qualify for Medicaid solely because your state didn't participate in Medicaid expansion.

If your household income was below 138% of the federal poverty line for your family size you can claim the exemption on your return. Otherwise, it will need to be granted by the Marketplace.

Yes

You're a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare. If you've applied for this exemption and haven't received your certificate number, you can still file your tax return and enter "Pending" for your certificate number.

Only available
through Marketplace

  • You were homeless.
  • You were evicted or were facing eviction or foreclosure.
  • You received a shut-off notice from a utility company.
  • You experienced domestic violence.
  • You experienced the death of a close family member.
  • You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property.
  • You filed for bankruptcy.
  • You had medical expenses you couldn't pay that resulted in substantial debt.
  • You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.
  • You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who's been denied coverage in Medicaid and CHIP, and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child.
  • As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you're eligible for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, lower costs on your monthly premiums, or cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren't enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace.
  • You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn't expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Your individual insurance plan was cancelled and you believe other Marketplace plans are unaffordable.
  • You experienced a hardship that kept you from getting health insurance that's not already listed.

If you've applied for this exemption and haven't received your certificate number, you can still file your tax return and enter "Pending" for your certificate number.

Only available
through Marketplace

You didn't have access to affordable coverage based on your projected household income.

Only available
through Marketplace

You had a type of Medicaid coverage wasn't considered minimum essential coverage. These could include coverage to a pregnant woman, medically needy individual (Spend-down Medicaid or Share-of-Cost Medicaid), or a medically needy individual enrolled in Medicaid but without coverage since the spend-down hasn't been met, if the specific plan wasn't considered minimum essential coverage.

Only available
through Marketplace

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