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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Tax Penalty At-a-Glance: Who Will Pay & How Much

Make Sure the Law Applies to You

Some people are exempt from the health care law. That means they don't have to buy health insurance and don't have to pay a penalty. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may be exempt from the law:

  • Are you in any one of these groups?
    • You are a member of a federally recognized Indian or Native Alaskan tribe
    • You are an undocumented immigrant
    • You are a prisoner
    • You belong to a recognized religion that doesn't believe in health insurance
    • You are an American living abroad for more than one year
    • You were uninsured for less than 3 months during the year
  • Do you qualify for a hardship exemption? lists 14 criteria that may qualify you for a hardship exemption. Some examples include: being homeless, filing for bankruptcy, experiencing a natural disaster that damaged your home, and death of a family member. Find the full list here.
  • Will you have to pay more than 8% of your income for health insurance?
    Single adults who cannot find a health plan with a monthly premium that is less than 8% of their total household earnings are exempt. That means they do not have to buy insurance or pay a penalty.

If your employer doesn't offer insurance: You can go to your state's health insurance Marketplace to shop for coverage and to see if you qualify for financial help.

If your employer does offer insurance but it’s not affordable or adequate: You may be eligible for subsidized insurance through the Marketplace. Affordable means that employees aren’t paying more than 9.56% of their household income toward their insurance costs. Adequate means that it covers, on average, 60% of medical costs.

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