Do I qualify for exemption from the shared responsibility fee?

What is the shared responsibility fee?

The shared responsibility fee is also called the “shared responsibility payment” and the “tax penalty.” All three are the same thing. Individuals who do not have health insurance may have to pay a fee on their taxes.

  • In 2015, the fee will be 2 percent of income or $325 per person, whichever is larger.
  • In 2016, the fee will be 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is larger.

What is an exemption from the fee?

You will have to pay a shared responsibility fee when you file your taxes if you do not have health insurance or an exemption. There are nine ways to qualify for an exemption from the shared responsibility fee. Exemption applications are now available from the federal government. For more information and links to the applications, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions. If you have questions about exemptions from the shared responsibility fee, call the federal Marketplace Services at (800) 318-2596.

Am I eligible for an exemption from the shared responsibility fee?

You can apply to the federal Marketplace Services to see if you meet one of these nine different ways to qualify for an exemption:

  • You are uninsured for less than 3 months of the year.
  • The lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8 percent of your household income.
  • You do not have to file a tax return because your income is below the filing threshold.
  • You are a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider.
  • You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.
  • You are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare.
  • You are in prison and not waiting for a disposition of charges against you.
  • You are not lawfully present in the United States.
  • You are experiencing a qualifying hardship. (Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions to learn more about qualifying hardships.)

How and when do I apply for an exemption?

Start by filling out an application for the type of exemption you think you should get (see the table on page 3). Then, send the completed application to the address listed on the application.

You can claim some exemptions when you file your federal tax return.

If you wish, you may apply for some exemptions before you file your federal tax return. Please refer to the table below to see which exemptions you can or cannot claim on your tax return.

How will I know if my exemption request has been approved?

The federal government should respond to your application within two weeks. If you do not hear from anyone, call (800) 318-2596.

Applications for Exemptions from the Shared Responsibility Fee

You may qualify for an exemption if: How to apply: When to apply:
You are insured for less than 3 months of the year. You do not need to file an application. This will be addressed when you file your 2014 federal tax return.
The lowest-priced coverage available to you, including any premium assistance that you qualify for, would cost more than 8 percent of your household income. Complete this application or claim the exemption on your 2014 federal tax return. You can apply now or when you file your 2014 federal tax return, which is due in April 2015.
You do not have to file a tax return, because your income is too low. (Learn about the filing limit here.) You do not need to file an application. No action is required.
You are a member of a federally recognized tribe. Complete this application or claim the exemption on your 2014 federal tax return. You can apply now or when you file your 2014 federal tax return, which is due in April 2015.
You are eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider. Complete this application. You can apply anytime during the 2014 taxable year.
You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry. Complete this application or claim the exemption on your 2014 federal tax return. You can apply now or when you file your 2014 federal tax return, which is due in April 2015.
You are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare. Complete this application. You can apply anytime during the 2014 taxable year.
You are in prison and are not waiting for a disposition of charges against you. Complete this application or claim the exemption on your 2014 federal tax return. You can apply now or when you file your 2014 federal tax return, which is due in April 2015.
You are not lawfully present in the United States. You do not need to file an application. No action is required.
You are experience a qualifying hardship. Learn more here. Complete this application. You can apply anytime during the 2014 taxable year.