Ever since President Barack Obama was elected for two terms since the 2008 Presidential Elections, he has had numerous policies and programs passed. These include the following:
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009) – Helped stimulate economic grow during the greatest recession since the Great Depression.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) – Caused the regulation of the practices of the financial sector, which caused the Great Recession.
Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (2009) – It prohibited credit card companies from increasing rates without proper notification to credit card holders.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009) – Gave women who were paid less than men who do the same job the right to file a lawsuit against their employers in the event that they discover such discrimination.
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (2011) – Boosted the Food and Drug Administration’s budget, which increased food inspections, improved food safety practices of countries importing their products in the country.
Serve America Act (2009) – Increased the size of AmeriCorps with the program growing to 85,000 members all over the country.
Omnibus Public Lands Management (2009) – Two million acres were designated as wilderness while over a thousand miles of rivers were protected and thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails were created.
Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control (2009) – Banned the sale of cigarette brands with misleading labels.
Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009) – Included crimes made against a person’s gender, sexual orientation, race, color, disability, religion or national origin in the existing hate crimes protection.
Children’s Health Insurance Authorization Act (2009) – Gave way for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to include four million more children in their coverage, which will be paid for by increasing taxes on tobacco products.
Claims Resolution Act – Provided $4.6 billion to legally settle what the government cheated from black and Native American farmers out loans and natural resource royalties for many years.
There are still so many policies that President Obama has passed, making the lives of all Americans so much easier. But of all these, the Obamacare program, officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, proves to be the most beneficial. Also known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, this reform program primarily aims to cover 32 million Americans who have no health insurance to pay for treatment and hospitalization. This act was also expected to cut healthcare cost, which the longest fiscal problem the country has.
However, as with many laws and rules, the Obamacare program has exemptions. While a lot of people need to have qualifying health coverage to avoid paying a fine or individual mandate, some may qualify for an exemption, which means that you don’t need to pay a penalty.
These are the available exemptions from the Affordable Care Act.
Many options are offered when it comes to affordable coverage on the state and federal marketplaces. However, if a marketplace or job-based insurance policy costs more than 8.05 percent of your income, you are exempted from the individual mandate when you file your taxes next year. If your income level exempts you from filing taxes, you’re also not required to pay the annual penalty fee.
One of the aims of the Obamacare program was to change how families that are earning low acquire health coverage. This is by expanding opportunities through Medicaid. The new guidelines stipulate that people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line may apply for coverage. But, some people won’t be covered even with subsidies or the expanded Medicaid guidelines. This is because not all states expanded their Medicaid programs. In fact, only 29 states and the District of Columbia have widened their coverage. This is why it may be impossible for those living in the other 21 states. As a result, you won’t need to pay a fine if you don’t have subsidized insurance or are eligible for Medicaid.
On principle, several religious and Native American tribes have been exempted from the law. Other people may also be exempted due to short-term situations or circumstances. Generally, you are exempted from the individual mandate if you fall under these categories:
- Eligible for Indian Health Services
- Part of an approved health care sharing ministry
- Part of a Native American tribe recognized by the federal government
- Part of a religious sect that doesn’t agree with insurance, Social Security and Medicare
- Are residing overseas as an American citizen
- Are currently imprisoned
- Are classified as a “certain type of non-citizen” or “not lawfully present”
Lawfully present immigrants may be able to buy health insurance from federal and state marketplaces. But under the ACA guidelines, those who are not living in the United States may no longer be eligible for coverage.
Hardships or Difficult Life Events
Life can sometime be difficult for some people, and the government understands that, whether it is a fault of their own or not. In such events, there is an exemption called “hardship” that people can qualify for, if they fall under one of the criteria or situations below:
- Victim of domestic violence that happened recently.
- Filed bankruptcy within the last six months.
- Unable to enroll in a plan due to an eligibility appeals decision, allowing to purchase lower-cost coverage.
- Death of a close family member that happened recently.
- Evicted or property was foreclosed within the last six months.
- Expenses unexpectedly increased from taking care of sick, disabled or aging family members.
- Employed by a utility company that shut off its services.
- Canceled current insurance policy due to the belief that marketplace policies are too expensive.
- Property suffered substantially damaged by natural or human-caused disaster.
- Unable to pay medical expenses within the past 24 months, which resulted in significant debt.
- Ineligible for expanded Medicaid because state chose not to expand Medicaid services.
- Hardship in obtaining a qualified health care policy not specified.
To ensure that you are legally exempted from the individual mandate, you need to sign up for a marketplace account at HealthCare.Gov. That way, you can determine if you qualify for coverage with a lower cost. You could also be eligible for a catastrophic plan with lower premiums if you qualify for an exemption due to hardship.