You and each of your family members are required to have minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act, qualify for an exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return.

There are certain criteria that may allow you to be exempt from the requirement to have qualifying health coverage. With this exemption, you would no longer be responsible for making the shared responsibility payment when you file your 2014 tax return. If there is any month you do not qualify for a coverage exemption, you will have to have minimum essential coverage or make a shared responsibility payment.

Obtaining a coverage exemption depends on the type of exemption you are eligible. You may be exempt if:

  • The minimum total you must pay for annual premiums is greater than eight percent of your household income
  • Your gap in coverage is less than three consecutive months
  • You qualify for one of several other reasons (e.g., hardship that prevents receiving coverage, or belonging to a group explicitly exempt from the requirement)

If eligible, you will claim coverage exemptions on Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, and attach it to Form 1040, or Form 1040EZ.1040

If Marketplace provides you coverage exemption, you will receive a notice with your Exemption Certificate Number (ECN). You will enter your ECN in Part I, Marketplace-Granted Coverage Exemptions for Individuals, of Form 8965 in column C. If you file your tax return prior to Marketplace processing your exemption application, complete Part I of Form 8965 and enter “pending” in Column C for each person listed. You do not need an ECN from the Marketplace if you claim the exemption on your return. With tax filing season having begun, most exemptions for 2014 are only available by claiming them on your tax return.

You are eligible for an exemption and do not have to file a tax return to claim it if your income is below your filing threshold. If you do file a tax return, use Part II, Coverage Exemptions for Your Household Claimed on Your Return, of Form 8965.

Part III, Coverage Exemptions for Individuals Claimed on Your Return, of Form 8965 includes other IRS-granted coverage exemptions that may be claimed on your tax return.

If you would like more information regarding this information, please contact our office at (239) 433-5554.  We would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have concerning the Affordable Care Act and filing your 2014 income tax return.