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.
The hardship exemption still applies to Catastrophic health plans if you are 30 years or older.
From 2014 to 2019, under the Affordable Care Act, most people had to pay a fee if they didn’t have health coverage that qualified as “minimum essential coverage.” One exception was based on showing that a “hardship” prevented them from becoming insured. Some hardship exemptions include: homelessness, received a shutoff notice from a utility company, experienced domestic violence, death of a family member, filed for bankruptcy, etc.
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