Individual mandate exemption forms out

(AP photo/Chris Gardner) (AP photo/Chris Gardner)

The Obama administration has posted a collection of draft forms consumers can use to obtain an individual mandate exemption.

Taxpayers might be able to avoid having to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care “individual shared responsibility” requirements using one or more exemptions in the following categories:

  • Religion.
  • Hardship.
  • Incarceration.
  • Demonstrated inability to afford coverage.
  • Income falling below the IRS tax return filing threshold.
  • Status as an illegal alien.
  • Membership in a health care sharing ministry.
  • Membership in an Indian tribe.
  • A short-term coverage gap.

The exemption forms are going through a routine paperwork review process now.

Officials estimate 12 million taxpayers could apply for exemptions annually.

One closely watched exemption category, for health care sharing ministries, would apply to individuals who form organizations to take responsibility for one another’s health care costs.

Managers of the “health insurance marketplace” note consumers who use the health care sharing ministry exemption must be part of a household in which a member is or was a member of a care sharing ministry recognized by the exchange.

“A health care sharing ministry is an organization whose members share a common set of ethnical and religious beliefs and share medical expenses among themselves in accordance with these beliefs,” according to the form.

Taxpayers seeking the exemption need to give the name and address of the ministry, and the dates when they were members in good standing of the ministries.

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