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 the 2018 coverage year. This means if you did not have qualifying health coverage for 2018, you must pay a tax penalty when you file your federal tax return in 2019, or qualify for an exemption.
Available exemptions include:
- Individuals who are not required to file a tax return because their income is too low. You don't need to ask for an exemption if you're not required to file a federal income tax return because your income is below the filing threshold. If you aren't sure if this applies to you, you may want to apply for an exemption.
- Individuals who cannot afford the coverage that is available through MNsure
- Individuals who cannot afford the coverage that is available through their employer
- Individuals who have suffered a hardship, including eviction, bankruptcy or domestic violence
- Individuals who have been uninsured for less than three consecutive months
- Members of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider
- Members of certain religious groups that object to health coverage
- Members of a health care sharing ministry
- Individuals who are incarcerated
- Citizens living abroad and individuals who are not U.S. citizens, not U.S. nationals, or not lawfully present in the U.S.
An individual age 30 or older must receive a hardship exemption for enrolling in catastrophic coverage. (Individuals under age 30 do not need an exemption to purchase this type of coverage.)
How to Apply for an Exemption
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.
2019 Exemptions and Catastrophic Plans
If you are age 30 or older and want to enroll in a catastrophic health plan for 2019, you must qualify for a hardship exemption. See the IRS website for more information.
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 2018 Plan Costs
- Open the Plan Lookup Tool
- Click the orange Start button in the lower right of the screen.
- Enter your ZIP code for where you lived on January 1, 2018.
- Enter the Coverage Start Date as January 1, 2018.
- Enter your household information.
- Note: If you use tobacco, You will need to enter your household information two separate times in order to search for the correct premium using the correct Tobacco Use status. Choose "Yes" for Tobacco Use to determine the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan. Choose "No" for Tobacco Use to determine the premium for the second lowest cost silver plan.
- Click the Submit button.
- On the next screen click the Skip to Plans link in the lower left
- You will now be on the plan results page where you can sort by Monthly Premium to find the lowest cost bronze plan and the second lowest cost silver plan available to you. Use the Sort By: drop-down menu to select Monthly Premium.
- After sorting by Monthly Premium you should see the lowest cost bronze plan at the top of the page. Find the second lowest cost silver plan by scrolling down the list.
- Print a copy of the plan results page. You may want to a copy of this for your records.
If you need assistance obtaining this information, call the Contact Center. Please note that MNsure cannot answer tax-related questions.