Citing multiple government agencies, multi-part math, and the need to collect substantial supporting documents, experts are saying that filing for an Obamacare exemption may be too complicated for most Americans.
Millions of Americans who didn’t enroll for health insurance this year as required by the Affordable Care Act now face possible fines from the Internal Revenue Service, but half or more of them may be eligible for waivers, at least on paper.
But community groups and tax preparation companies say the process for claiming exemptions looks really convoluted.
Two government agencies are involved.
Some waivers seem easy, but others require multi-part math, and people will have to mail in supporting receipts and documents.
Complications could add up to more problems for the Affordable Care Act and its supporters.
ABC News also reports:
But while some exemptions seem simple, others will require math calculations.
Some involve sending in the application — by mail — and supporting documents, such as copies of medical bills, police reports, obituaries, utility shut-off notices — even news articles. Consumers will have to dig up the documentation — it’s not like filing the W-2s they get from employers.
Two federal agencies have roles, each with its own waivers and time schedules. Some people will apply directly to the Internal Revenue Service when they file their 2014 tax returns next year. They’ll use a new Form 8965.
Others can start now and seek an exemption through HealthCare.gov. If it’s approved, they’ll get a number to put on their IRS form later on.
It will all come to a head this tax-filing season.
The fee for not having coverage in 2014 amounts to 1% of the yearly household income or $95 per person. In 2015, those fees are set to rise to 2% and $325 per person. In 2016, it will be 2.5% or $695 per person.
Predictably, many of the waivers or exemptions are for those struggling financially. Which makes it disconcerting that families struggling to stay afloat would have to apply for a waiver that experts themselves claim is too complicated.
According to the Healthcare.gov website, another class of individual qualifies for these exemptions – those “not lawfully present in the U.S.”