There Are 30 Ways to Avoid the Penalty for Not Buying Health Insurance

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Tax experts say about 20 million Americans may qualify to waive the health insurance tax penalty.

Tens of millions of Americans without health insurance risk being fined by the IRS as part of the Affordable Care Act, which imposes a tax penalty on those who didn’t purchase medical insurance. But tax experts say up to 20 million people are eligible for a waiver.

According to Inuit, maker of TurboTax, there are 30 reasons you may be exempt from the tax penalty if you don’t have health insurance. These are the top reasons for a tax exemption:

  • Affordability. The lowest-priced health insurance available would cost more than 8 percent of your household income.
  • Medical expenses. You had medical expenses you couldn’t afford to pay in the last 24 months, which resulted in significant debt.
  • Cancellation. You had insurance that was canceled, and the other plans were unaffordable.
  • Utility shut-off. You received a notice for shut-off from a utility company.
  • Difficulty signing up. You had issues signing up through your state or federal marketplace.

There are several other reasons you may be exempt from the tax penalty. According to Intuit:

Exemptions are also available because of homelessness, eviction, foreclosure, bankruptcy, the death of a close family member or an experience with domestic violence. Members of Native American tribes also are not required to sign up for health insurance.

If you are uninsured and want to see if you could be exempt from the tax penalty, click here to access the TurboTax Exemption Check. It takes just a few minutes to complete.

You can also find information about tax exemptions at

If you didn’t have health insurance in 2014, and you did not receive an exemption, you’ll be fined 1 percent of your yearly household income (above the tax filing threshold, which is about $10,000 for an individual) or $95 per person ($47.50 per child younger than 18) up to $285.

Were you insured in 2014? If not, are you eligible for a tax waiver? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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