Why do we even still have an individual mandate? Can we end this sham, yet? If you have a pulse, you can exempt yourself from the individual mandate. We wasted thousands of hours and millions of dollars on a Supreme Court case on this matter only to see the law's proponents secretly repeal the individual mandate via extra-legal, administrative evisceration.
The below lists come from two government websites (here and here). We are now up to 32 exemptions from the individual mandate. There are 317 million Americans. Only 4 million will pay Obamacare's individual mandate. That's a whopping 1.26%. But in reality, none of them really needs to pay it either. If they can't make one of the exemptions fit, they just aren't trying.
First, from the IRS:
- Coverage is considered unaffordable - The minimum amount you would have paid for employer-sponsored coverage or a bronze level health plan (depending on your circumstances) is more than 8 percent of your actual household income for the year as computed on your tax return. Also see the second hardship listed below, which provides a prospective exemption granted by the Marketplace if the minimum amount you would have paid for coverage is more than 8 percent of your projected household income for the year.
- Short coverage gap - You went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year.
- Income below the return filing threshold - Your gross income or your household income is less than your applicable minimum threshold for filing a tax return.
- Citizens living abroad and certain noncitizens
- Members of a health care sharing ministry - You are a member of a health care sharing ministry, which is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) whose members share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and have shared medical expenses in accordance with those beliefs continuously since at least December 31, 1999.
- Members of Indian Tribes - You are a member of a Federally-recognized Indian tribe, including an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation Shareholder (regional or village), or you were otherwise eligible for services through an Indian health care provider or the Indian Health Service.
- Incarceration - You are in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility after the disposition of charges.
- Members of certain religious sects - You are a member of a religious sect in existence since December 31, 1950, that is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as conscientiously opposed to accepting any insurance benefits, including Medicare and Social Security.
- Aggregate self-only coverage considered unaffordable - Two or more family members' aggregate cost of self-only employer-sponsored coverage exceeds 8 percent of household income, as does the cost of any available employer-sponsored coverage for the entire family.
- Gap in coverage at the beginning of 2014 - You had a coverage gap at the beginning of 2014 but were either enrolled in, or were treated as having enrolled in, coverage through the Marketplace or outside of the Marketplace with an effective date on or before May 1, 2014.
- General hardship - You experienced circumstances that prevented you from obtaining coverage under a qualified health plan, including, but not limited to, homelessness, eviction, foreclosure, domestic violence, death of a close family member, and unpaid medical bills. [More on this category later as it, alone, adds 13 more exemptions; many of which don't require documentation. The hardship list begins on #20 of this list.]
- Coverage considered unaffordable based on projected income - You do not have access to coverage that is considered affordable based on your projected household income.
- Determined ineligible for Medicaid in a state that did not expand Medicaid coverage - You are determined ineligible for Medicaid solely because the State in which you live does not participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
- Resident of a state that did not expand Medicaid - Your household income is below 138 percent of the federal poverty line for your family size and at any time in 2014 you reside in a state that does not participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. (States that did not expand Medicaid: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.)
- Unable to renew existing coverage - You were notified that your health insurance policy was not renewable and you consider the other plans available unaffordable.
- Gap in CHIP coverage - You applied for CHIP coverage during the initial open enrollment period and were found eligible for CHIP based on that application but had a coverage gap at the beginning of 2014.
- AmeriCorps coverage - You are engaged in service in the AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA, or NCCC programs and are covered by short-term duration coverage or self-funded coverage provided by these programs.
- Limited benefit Medicaid and TRICARE programs that are not minimum essential coverage - You are enrolled in certain types of Medicaid and TRICARE programs that are not minimum essential coverage.
- Employer coverage with non-calendar plan year beginning in 2013 - You were eligible, but did not purchase, coverage under an employer plan with a plan year that started in 2013 and ended in 2014. [At this point we move from the IRS list to the Harship list from Healthcare.gov]
- You were homeless
- You were evicted in the past 6 months or were facing eviction or foreclosure
- You received a shut-off notice from a utility company
- You recently experienced domestic violence
- You recently experienced the death of a close family member
- You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property
- You filed for bankruptcy in the last 6 months
- You had medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months that resulted in substantial debt
- You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member
- You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage in Medicaid and CHIP, and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child. In this case, you don't have the pay the penalty for the child.
- As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you’re eligible for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, lower costs on your monthly premiums, or cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren’t enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace
- Your individual insurance plan was cancelled and you believe other Marketplace plans are unaffordable
- If you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance, use this PDF form to apply for an exemption with the Marketplace.
The individual mandate does not exist. It is a mirage. We need to repeal it now so that we don't have citizens wasting countless hours this tax season trying to comply with pages of complex, conflicting and incomprehensible documentation as to their healthcare coverage or 32-flavors of exemption.