Most people must have qualifying health coverage or pay a fee (also known as the “penalty,” “fine,” “individual shared responsibility payment,” or “individual mandate”). But if you qualify for a health coverage exemption you don’t have to pay the fee.
There are different kinds of exemptions. Some you claim on your federal tax return. Others, including hardship exemptions, you apply for with a paper application.
If you’re covered by a plan that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage” you don’t need to pay the fee or get an exemption.
Find exemptions that may work for you
Select the button below. We’ll ask you a few questions and show you all health coverage exemptions that may apply to you.
Below are all exemptions for the 2015 tax year. Follow the links below for details, forms, and instructions.
If you’re still interested in exemptions for the 2014 tax year, visit our 2014 exemptions page.
In addition to the exemptions above, you may qualify for a “hardship” exemption for 2015. Hardships are life situations that keep you from getting health insurance.
To claim a hardship exemption, you must fill out a paper application and mail it in to the Marketplace. For details and forms, follow the links below.
Hardships that qualify you for exemptions include:
Hardship exemptions usually cover the month before the hardship, the months of the hardship, and the month after the hardship.
But in some cases the Marketplace may provide the exemption for additional months, including up to a full calendar year.
There’s no exemption based only on employment status. But several exemptions apply to people with no or very little income.
To find out if you may qualify for an exemption, read the full list on this page.
If you’re granted a hardship exemption, the notice includes information on catastrophic health plans. With a hardship exemption, you can buy a catastrophic plan no matter how old you are or what your income is.
A catastrophic plan offers lower-priced coverage that mainly protects you from high medical costs if you get seriously hurt or injured.
To buy catastrophic coverage with a hardship, you’ll provide your Exemption Certificate Number (ECN) to the insurance company selling the plan.
Note: If you get a hardship exemption, you don’t have to buy a catastrophic plan. It’s just an option available to you.