Veterans and their families who aren't enrolled in a VA-backed health plan may still have qualifying coverage. Nearly all employer-sponsored health plans meet the Affordable Care Act's standards for minimum essential coverage, as do government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Coverage purchased through the online exchanges set up under ACA also qualify, as do many individual policies bought directly from insurers. Your plan provider can tell you whether your coverage qualifies.
Finally, you may be able to avoid paying a fee with your taxes if you qualify for an exemption to the coverage requirement. Exemptions are allowed for, among other things, people with one of the following:
- Incomes below the tax-filing minimum
- People who can't find affordable coverage
- Members of federally-recognized Indian tribes
- People who go without coverage for less than three months
- People with religious objections to any health insurance
Not sure if you are exempt from the tax penalty or from the requirement to purchase health insurance? The TurboTax Exemption Check, is a free, online tool to help determine whether you might be eligible to waive the tax penalty entirely and apply for a health care exemption.