Beginning in 2019 the tax penalty, also known as the individual shared responsibility payment, no longer applies and as a result you no longer need an exemption to avoid the tax penalty if you opt out of enrolling in an ACA-qualifying major medical plan.
From 2014 to 2019, an exemption referred to the allowance of qualifying individuals to go without minimum essential coverage under the ACA and not owe the tax penalty. Individuals could be exempt from obtaining minimum essential coverage due to some life events, financial hardship and other circumstances. Application for exemption was required in many cases.
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