How To Escape Obamacare
Mike Patton 3/25/2015
Obamacare has just passed the five year mark and the first round of penalties are about to be assessed. If you are caught in its grasp, you should know that there may be an escape clause. The legislation contains several exemptions which allow individuals to opt out, thereby escaping the penalty. If you meet one of the criteria, you will be able to keep more of your hard-earned money. In this article, we’ll list the majority of the exemptions and provide a link so you can see if you qualify.
The Affordable Care Act, which became effective March 23, 2010, requires that all citizens without a qualified exemption pay a penalty, called a shared responsibility payment. The government will be levying its first round of penalties with the filing of your 2014 tax return. When you file, if a penalty is due, if will be deducted from your refund or added to your tax liability if no refund is due. However, if you qualify for one of the exemptions, you will not have to pay.
Affordable Care Act Exemptions
Here is a list of the majority of the exemptions available under the Affordable Care Act:
• Your income was below the federal filing threshold amount.
• You had medical expenses you were unable to pay in the last 24 months.
• You received a “shut off” notice from your utility company.
• Your home was damaged by fire, flood, or other natural disaster in the past year.
• Your expenses rose suddenly in the past year because you were caring for an ill, aging, or disabled family member.
• You filed bankruptcy in the past six months.
• You are currently, or were homeless last year.
• You spent time in jail last year.
• You suffered domestic violence in the past year.
• A close family member died last year.
• You served in the AmeriCorps State National, VISTA, or NCCC.
• You spent at least 330 full days outside the U.S. during a 12 month period.
• You were evicted or foreclosed upon or are facing the same.
• You have a TRICARE or Medicaid plan.
• You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child.
• You received a notice that your current health insurance was being cancelled and you consider the other available plans unaffordable.
• You’re a member of a recognized religious sect with objections to insurance (must be recognized by the Social Security Administration).
• You were determined ineligible for Medicaid in a state that did not expand Medicaid coverage.
• Your household income was below 138% of the federal poverty line for your family size and at any time you resided in a state that did not participate in the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
• You experienced a hardship that prevented you from obtaining coverage under a qualified health plan.
• The minimum amount you would have paid for premiums is more than 8.0% of your total household income.
• You’re a member of a health care sharing ministry.
• You’re a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe, including an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation Shareholder (regional or village), or you were otherwise eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider.
*For a complete list or more information, visit healthcare.gov.
This law has added a myriad of new regulations to an already complex system. In fact, it will likely take up to 10 years to fully understand all of the nuances of this legislation. In the interim, if you didn’t have coverage for any part of 2014, you should become familiar with the exemptions provided by the Act. After all, no one should pay more than is absolutely necessary.