Obamacare Exemptions: Who is Exempt From the Affordable Care Act?

September 30, 2013 Updated: October 1, 2013

While Obamacare is looming, people are wondering about exemptions–whether they are exempt from signing up for health insurance. Because if you don’t sign up and aren’t exempt, you face fines, or penalties.

According to Healthcare.gov, there are multiple types of people who are exempt.

-People who can’t afford coverage (for 2014, people for which the premium for the lowest-priced coverage exceeds eight percent of their household income)

-People with household income so low they don’t have to file a federal income tax return (filing limit)

-People who are part of a federally recognized tribe

-People who are members of recognized certain religious sects that have religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare

-People who are in jail or prison

-People who aren’t a U.S. citizen or national

-People who are currently uninsured for less than three months of the year

-People who are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry

-People who experience a hardship

Hardships include:

-Being homeless or recently homeless

-Being evicted in the past 6 months, or facing eviction or foreclosure

-Being a victim of domestic violence

-Having a close family member die recently

-Filing for bankruptcy in the past 6 months


Note: Members of Congress and the Senate are exempt because the Obama administration has allowed “special treatment,” according to Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). 

“Instead of going on Obamacare and abiding by the same laws and requirements as everyone else in it, members of Congress can now receive tax-exempt contributions from their employer (the federal government) to their health care premiums on the Obamacare exchange,” he wrote on The Hill on Sept. 30. “This will create one set of rules for the American people and a different set of rules for Congress.”

Cassidy said he’s working on including an amendement to any government spending package that would ensure that members of Congress don’t get taxpayer funded subsidies to pay for their health care.

“Louisiana families are not getting special breaks from this law and neither should Congress,” he said.


How to apply for an exemption

You can claim exemptions when you fill out your 2014 federal tax return, which is due in April 2015.

Or you can apply for the exemptions in the health insurance marketplace, which is the new system set up under Obamacare.

People who aren’t able to afford health insurance may be able to buy catastrophic coverage through the marketplace.

MORE on Obamacare:

Obamacare Fines: Penalties You Will Face if You Don’t Sign Up for Insurance

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