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Exemptions from the Health Coverage Mandate

Starting in 2019, there is no longer a requirement or “mandate” to maintain health coverage. However, the mandate still applies to coverage years 2014-2018. This means if you did not have qualifying health coverage for each of those years, you may have paid a tax penalty when you filed your federal tax return, unless you qualified for an exemption.

2020 Exemptions and Catastrophic Plans

If you are age 30 or older and want to enroll in a catastrophic health plan for 2020, you must qualify for a hardship exemption. Individuals under age 30 do not need an exemption to purchase this type of coverage. See the IRS website for more information.

How to Apply for an Exemption for 2018 and Earlier

Depending on the type of exemption you qualify for, you will need to submit an application to Healthcare.gov or request the exemption from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when you file your taxes. (MNsure does not accept exemption applications).

  • Federal Health Insurance Marketplace (Healthcare.gov): Go to HealthCare.gov to determine which exemption to request. Print out, complete and mail the federal Application for Exemption. The completed form and any supporting documents should be mailed to:
    Health Insurance Marketplace - Exemption Processing
    465 Industrial Blvd.
    London, KY 40741
  • IRS: Information for claiming an exemption through the IRS when you file your taxes can be found at www.irs.gov.

MNsure uses the federal Health Insurance Marketplace to process exemption applications. The federal government will notify you if you qualify for an exemption. If you apply to HealthCare.gov and qualify, you will receive an exemption certificate number that you'll need for your federal income tax return you file for the year of the exemption. For questions about the status of your application or your eligibility for an exemption, visit HealthCare.gov, or call the Health Insurance Marketplace Help Center at 800-318-2596. TTY users should call 855-889-4325. If you have questions about how to get a copy of and where to submit the application form, call the MNsure Contact Center at 855-366-7873 or 651-539-2099.

Exemptions for Unaffordable Coverage through MNsure

You can claim this exemption based on coverage being unaffordable for the months in 2018 when you did not have coverage when you fill out your 2018 tax return, which is due in 2019.

You can claim this exemption using the federal Form 8965. You will need to use the following information from MNsure to complete this form: 

  • The premium amount for the lowest cost 2018 bronze plan that would have covered all members of your household seeking an exemption; and
  • The premium amount for the second-lowest cost 2018 silver plan that would have covered all members of your household seeking an exemption.

This information is easy to find using the instructions below.

NOTE: If you are applying for an exemption for unaffordable coverage from your employer, you do not need any information from MNsure. You will need to follow the directions on the federal exemption application to submit information about your employer's plan. You can claim this exemption when you file your taxes using the federal Form 8965.

How to Look Up Plan Premiums

1. Open MNsure's plan comparison tool -- on the first page, click the Continue button.

2.  Under "Which Coverage Year" select select the year for which you are seeking information. Note: if you pick a year prior to the current coverage year, a date picker will appear. Enter the start Date for your exemption.

43. Under "Where do you live" enter the ZIP Code of your residential address.  Your county of residence will appear. If there is more than one county for your ZIP code, select your county of residence.

4. Under "Who is in your household and do they need coverage?" enter the following information for each person in your household applying for the exemption:

  • Birthdate
  • Tobacco Use. If you use tobacco, you need to enter your household information two separate times in order to search for the correct premium using the correct Tobacco Use status. To get the lowest cost bronze plan premium: check the box to indicate "Yes" for Tobacco Use. To get the second-lowest cost silver plan premium: leave the checkbox unchecked to indicate "No" for Tobacco Use.
  • Leave Native American, and Pregnant? checkboxes unchecked as these cannot be used in this premium calculation.
  • Make sure the Needs Coverage checkbox is checked.

5. Skip the financial help section and click Browse Plans button on bottom right.

6. Skip the “Tell Us about Your Health Care Needs” page and select Skip to View Plans button.

7. Under the "Health Plans" tab, the medical plans available to you will display.

8. On the left side of your screen, sort plans by Monthly Price and look for the first bronze plan that appears in the list. This is the lowest cost bronze plan available to your family. Note the premium amount for your lowest cost bronze plan.

9. After sorting by Monthly Premium you should see the lowest cost bronze plan at the top of the page. Next, find the second-lowest cost silver plan by scrolling down the list.

10. You may want to print a copy of this results page for your records.

If you need assistance obtaining this information, call the Contact Center. Please note that MNsure cannot answer tax-related questions.

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