Dept. of Treasury Offers Info on Individual Mandate Exemptions
On Friday, the Department of Treasury released fact sheets with information on five of the most common exemptions to the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act, The Hill reports (Ferris, The Hill, 3/27).
Under the ACA's individual mandate, most U.S. residents who did not purchase coverage in 2014 will be subject to penalties of $95 for an adult or 1% of an individual's taxable income, whichever is higher (California Healthline, 7/25/14). As many as six million U.S. residents could be subject to the individual mandate penalty this year, according to federal officials. However, about 50% of uninsured U.S. residents are unaware of the penalty, according to a recent Urban Institute survey.
There are more than 30 total potential exemptions to the individual mandate, according to The Hill.
According to Intuit, which sells the tax software TurboTax, 20 million or more individuals who were uninsured in 2014 could be eligible for an exemption. However, in January Intuit estimated that more than 19 out of 20 people who might be facing a penalty had not applied for an exemption, which the company said "means many people may pay more in taxes than they should" (The Hill, 3/27).
Details of Fact Sheets
The department released six total fact sheets, including one providing a general overview of claiming exemptions to the individual mandate (Treasury release, 3/27).
The department also released fact sheets relating to exemptions for uninsured individuals in 2014:
- For whom coverage would have been considered "unaffordable" because they would have had to pay more than 8% of their household income in annual premiums (Treasury fact sheet , 3/27);
- Who could qualify for "hardship" exemptions as the result of factors such as losing a family member, having costly medical expenses or being a survivor of domestic violence (Treasury fact sheet , 3/27);
- Who had low incomes and lived in one of the 21 states that had not expanded Medicaid under the ACA (Treasury fact sheet , 3/27);
- Who were uninsured for a time period of less than three straight months during 2014 and qualify for a "short gap" exemption (Treasury fact sheet , 3/27); and
- Who were eligible to receive services from an Indian health care provider (Treasury release, 3/27).