TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / Health Care / Video: Who Qualifies for an Affordable Care Act Exemption (Obamacare)?

Video: Who Qualifies for an Affordable Care Act Exemption (Obamacare)?

Updated for Tax Year 2015


The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But, who qualifies for an Affordable Care Act exemption? Find out more about who qualifies for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act tax penalty, how to claim an exemption on your tax return and how the Affordable Care Act may affect your taxes with this video from TurboTax.

The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But, who qualifies for an exemption?
  • Members of certain religious groups opposed to insurance
  • Federally recognized Indian tribes
  • Health care sharing ministries
  • And those currently incarcerated are exempt

But you may also be exempt from the tax penalty if you’re experiencing financial or life hardships. For example, you may be exempt if:

  • The lowest insurance premium available to you is more than 8% of your household income
  • If you’re facing foreclosure
  • Filing bankruptcy
  • Your property was significantly damaged in a disaster (natural or human caused)
  • Medical expenses
  • Facing eviction
  • Death in the family
  • Or utilities shut off

You’re automatically exempt if you don’t have to file a federal income tax return because your income is too low. Depending on the reason, you may claim your exemption in one of two ways:

  1. Either apply for a certificate of exemption from the Marketplace
  2. Or simply claim the exemption on your tax return at the end of the year.

Most exemptions must be applied for through the Marketplace. But, if you’re applying based on coverage affordability, membership in a health care sharing ministry, federally-recognized Indian tribe, or incarceration, you may claim the exemption on your federal tax return.

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.

Still have questions about who qualifies for an Affordable Care Act exemption?  Visit TurboTax.com/health/ to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it may affect your taxes.

Affordable Care Act Exemption

Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

For only $54.99$34.99*
Start for Free

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

Security is built into everything we do
Here's how
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Free 1040EZ/A + Free State offer only available with TurboTax Federal Free Edition; Offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal efile of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with efile and direct deposit; tax refund timeframes will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice service is available via phone for your toughest tax questions; fees may apply. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2014 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • Benefit Assist: After you file, TurboTax automatically shows you a full list of government benefits you may qualify for, like Food Stamps or reduced phone & utilities. Plus, we help you apply, saving you time and making it easier than ever to get more money! Estimate based on calculation of Benefit Assist users from tax year 2013 and published reports of average benefit and savings amounts from federal and state programs. Benefit Assist users who received one or more federal or state benefits received on average $576 (based on survey March-June 2015). Actual amounts and qualifications based on your individual situation; some individuals will not qualify. Feature may not be available for all customers.