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Individual Mandate Exemptions Available for 2017 Tax Returns

Affordability, Tax Filing Threshold, and Other Exemptions Available

Under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ”individual mandate” (also called individual shared responsibility) provision, every individual must have minimum essential health coverage for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return for tax year 2017.

Among other exemptions, individuals may claim the following exemptions from the individual mandate by filing Form 8965Health Coverage Exemptions, along with his or her 2017 tax return:

  • Affordability Exemption: The lowest-priced coverage available to the individual, through either a Health Insurance Marketplace or employer-based group health plan, would have cost the individual more than 8.16% of his or her household income for plan years beginning in 2017, as computed on the tax return.
  • Tax Filing Threshold Exemption: The individual’s gross income or household income was less than the applicable minimum threshold for filing a tax return (see ”2017 Federal Tax Filing Requirement Thresholds”).
  • Short Coverage Gap Exemption: The individual went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year.
  • Medicaid Expansion Exemption: The individual’s household income is below 138% of the federal poverty line for his or her family size, and at any time during the year, the individual resided in a state that did not participate in the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. States that did not expand Medicaid for all of 2017 include: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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Reminder: Individual Mandate Remains in Effect for 2018

Requirement is Effectively Repealed Beginning in 2019

Individuals are reminded that the section of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which effectively repealed the individual shared responsibility provision (“individual mandate”) of the Affordable Care Act does not become effective until 2019. As a result, individuals are required to have minimum essential health coverage, qualify for an exemption from the requirement, or pay a penalty tax for 2018.