With the Healthcare Exchange Open Enrollment deadline of March 31 fast approaching, it is important to have all the facts about who is and who is not required to have health insurance in 2014.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most Americans are required to have health insurance or pay a penalty. However, there are many exemptions to this requirement. For example, individuals may qualify for an exemption from the penalty if they are uninsured for less than 3 months of the year, if the lowest-priced coverage available would cost them more than 8% of their household income, or if they are not required to file taxes because their income is below the threshold. There are several other situations that would qualify an individual for a waiver from the penalty. A full list of exemptions is available at https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/.
Additionally, many individuals may qualify for a “hardship exemption” if they experience certain circumstances that would affect their ability to purchase affordable health coverage. In December, President Obama announced that those Americans whose health insurance policies have been cancelled would be allowed to purchase catastrophic health insurance plans or claim a hardship exemption and avoid the ACA’s insurance mandate entirely. Earlier this month that waiver was extended through 2016.