How-To-Apply-For-Obamacare-Exemptions-Part-IThere are more than 20 exemptions to the Obamacare penalty. The Washington Times estimates up to 30 million taxpayers will qualify for one of them. So what are the exemptions, how can you claim one, and what proof should you bring? Some must be applied for through the healthcare Marketplace, others can be claimed on your tax return. Here’s a breakdown of Obamacare exemptions that you must apply for through the mail:


Exemptions Claimed by Mail 






You were homeless


You faced eviction or foreclosure within the past 6 months

Eviction or foreclosure notice

You could not pay your basic utility bills

Shut-off notice from the utility company

Your property suffered significant damage in a recent natural disaster

Insurance claims, police report, published news article, or another official document

You were unable to pay medical bills within the past 24 months

Copies of the bills in question

Your expenses increased unexpectedly due to caring for an ill, disabled, or elderly family member

Appropriate medical or transportation receipts

Filed bankruptcy within the past 6 months

Official documents such as copies of the application

You recently lost a close family member

Death certificate, obituary, funeral receipts, coronary report, or another official notice

Recent victim of domestic violence


Meet both of these requirements:

  • Your child dependent was denied Medicaid or CHIP coverage, and
  • Another adult was legally required to purchase health insurance for the child 

You must have both of the following:

  •  Copy of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility notices, and
  •  Copy of the court order 

As a result of an appeals decision, you are now eligible for Marketplace coverage for a time period when you were originally considered ineligible

Copy of the notice of appeals decision

Your old health insurance plan was cancelled by the insurance company, and you consider alternative Marketplace plans to be unaffordable

Copy of the notice of cancellation from the insurer

You are a member of a religious group that has religious conscientious objections to all forms of insurance. Federally-approved groups include:

  • Anabaptists 
  • Amish 
  • Hutterites 
  • Mennonites
  • Name of ministry
  • District and address of congregation 
  • Membership dates 
  • Copy of previous IRS Form 4029 - waiving all access to Medicare and Social Security Benefits 

You experienced another hardship which prevented you from obtaining health insurance

Supporting documentation, if possible

You should receive your response in the mail within 2 weeks. If approved, you will receive an Exemption Certificate Number (ECN) to add onto your tax return. Enter your ECN onto Form 8965, Part I, column C. If you must file taxes before you receive your response then you should enter the word "pending" to prevent a delay with the IRS.

Note that if you are audited, you may need to provide additional documentation confirming your exemption. Find out if you can qualify and apply for an exemption from the penalty by using our Online Health Insurance Exemption Guide. Visit your local Liberty Tax® office for a FREE ACA review, or call the ACA Hotline at 1-800-673-8600 to speak with a Liberty Tax Service® ACA specialist.

Don't qualify for any of these? Check out How to Apply For Obamacare Exemptions Part II.


-- By Alice Robeson