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Although enrollment in Marketplace plans or Medicaid affords American Indians and Alaska Natives many benefits for low cost or free health coverage, you may also decide to apply for an exemption from the individual shared responsibility payment.
It is important to note that if you were not enrolled in minimum essential coverage by March 31, 2014, you may be subject to an individual shared responsibility payment or fine unless you qualify for an exemption. There are several exemptions, but American Indians and Alaska Natives are exempted from the fine for not maintaining minimum essential coverage through two specific exemptions. These exemptions are available to:
1) Members of federally recognized tribes or Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporations; and
2) Individuals who are eligible to receive services from an Indian Health Care Provider at IHS, tribal, and urban Indian clinics.
An individual eligible for both types of exemptions should only claim the member exemption. Instructions to help you complete an exemption application at the Health Insurance Marketplace are available here.
Members of Federally Recognized Tribes or ANCSA Corporations
Individuals applying for an exemption as a member of a federally recognized tribe or ANCSA Corporation may apply for the exemption through the Marketplace or on their federal IRS tax returns.
A member will need to include a photocopy of enrollment or membership documentation from a federally recognized tribe, ANCSA corporation, or Bureau of Indian Affairs. A member who applies for an exemption will receive an exemption certificate number that will be recorded each year on the member’s tax return to claim the exemption. In most cases, a member will only apply for the exemption once and will use the same exemption certificate number on future tax returns.
Individuals Eligible for Services through an Indian Health Care Provider (IHCP)
Individuals applying for an exemption as eligible to receive services from an IHCP can only apply for the exemption through the Marketplace.
An individual applying for the IHCP exemption will need to include a photocopy of a letter from an IHS, tribal, or urban Indian clinic that verifies eligibility for services. An IHCP eligible individual will receive an exemption certificate number that will be recorded each year on the individual’s tax return. This exemption will remain active provided the individual remains eligible for services from an IHCP provider.