Hardships are life situations that keep you from getting health insurance. If you qualify for a hardship exemption, you don’t have to have health insurance or pay a fee for the months the exemption applies.
To claim a hardship health coverage exemption, you must fill out a paper application and mail it to the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Need a hardship exemption form?
- Get instructions for downloading the hardship exemption form, and a link to the form itself.
If you’re still interested in exemptions for the 2015 tax year, visit our 2015 exemptions page.
Following are all health coverage exemptions based on hardships. The links below take you to a page with details about each exemption, forms, and instructions.
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 hardship exemption based only on employment status. But several health coverage exemptions apply to people with no or very little income.
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. Learn more about Catastrophic plans.
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.