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Will I Have to Pay a Tax Penalty if I Don’t Have Health Insurance?

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Will I Have to Pay a Tax Penalty if I Don’t Have Health Insurance?

Date Posted: 

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires many people to prove that they had health insurance in 2015 or pay a penalty when they file their taxes in 2016.

But some people will not have to pay a tax penalty!

Here are three ways you may be excused from paying a tax penalty this year and in the future:

  1. Ask for an exemption from the tax penalty!

Exemptions from the tax penalty are available for many people.  You may qualify for an exemption if:

  • You do not have to file a tax return because your income is too low.
  • Your health insurance options in 2015 were not affordable.
  • You had health insurance for all but one or two months in 2015.
  • You recently experienced a hardship like homelessness, eviction or foreclosure, bankruptcy, domestic violence, or the death of a family member.

To learn more about these exemptions, visit

  1. Apply for health insurance!

Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid program in 2015.  Now, most low income people qualify for free or very low cost health insurance.  You may qualify for Medicaid if your income is below $1,354 a month if you are single, or below $2,789 a month if you are in a family of four.

To apply for coverage, visit or call (866) 550-4355.

If you have problems applying online or over the phone, you can ask for help.  Call (877) 570-3642 to get free help from a community group.

  1. Get free tax help!

The Campaign for Working Families offers free tax help in Philadelphia through April 15, 2016.  They can help you apply for an exemption from the tax penalty.

To find a free tax preparer in your neighborhood, call 3-1-1.