Not having health insurance doesn’t mean you must pay a penalty, there are exemptions.

A lot of people are still confused about mandatory health insurance. Under the Obama administration the ACA was put into law and one of the main stipulations was that everyone would be required to have health insurance. For those who could afford it and chose not to pay for health insurance, there would be penalties to pay at tax time. Now that Trump is President there is much confusion on whether there are still penalties for not having health insurance. 

There were already over a dozen reasons U.S. consumers could use to avoid paying the penalty for not having health insurance, now there are four more. 

They are called “hardship exemptions” and basically, they let people go without health insurance if they can’t find a marketplace plan that meets not only their coverage needs, but also reflects their view if they are opposed to abortion. 

There are also new rules for people who think they meet the criteria for a hardship exemption. Under the new rules, people can apply for a hardship exemption that excludes them from the requirement of having health insurance under these conditions: 

  • They live in an area where there are no marketplace plans 
  • They live in an area where there is just one insurer selling marketplace plans 
  • They can’t find an affordable marketplace plan that doesn’t cover abortion 
  • They experience “personal circumstances” that make it difficult for them to buy a marketplace plan, including not being able to find a plan in their area that gives them access to the specialty care they need 

Keep in mind that the first condition is not relevant since there are no counties that don’t have a marketplace. 

So, there will probably still be plenty of confusion over penalties for not having health insurance, but if you can fit into one of these categories, you may be exempt. Check with your insurance agent to find out about more exemptions.