Obamacare Exemptions To Affordable Care Act Fines Exist, But Only For Certain People

Obamacare exemptions lists allow people to dodge the Affordable Care Act's fines, but waivers are only an option for limited groups.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, an Obamacare delay bill attempted to avoid the 2013 government shutdown, but Congress couldn't agree on what to do about the Affordable Care Act.

Of course, even a government shutdown won't stop Obamacare since the IRS and state governments will remain operating in addition to three-quarters of Federal employees who are considered indispensable. The Obamacare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act's state exchanges will be accessible come October 1 at www.healthcare.gov or by calling (800) 318-2596. All employed Americans are required to enroll by December 25, 2013 or face additional Obamacare fines.

Obamacare exemptions include religious objections to purchasing insurance (mostly intended for the Amish) or being a Native American (who are part of a separate healthcare system). The religious exemption is actually fairly broad since it affects anyone who is "conscientiously opposed to accepting any insurance benefits," which some say would include Muslim groups.

Another set of Obamacare exemptions focus on individuals facing "hardships," which includes being homeless, being in jail, recently filing for bankruptcy, being a recent victim of domestic violence, or having been evicted in the past six months. Individuals are also exempt from Obamacare penalties if they experience a lapse in health coverage of less than three months in a calendar year. And non-US citizens are of course exempt.

Other Obamacare exemptions focus on those too poor to afford insurance and seniors with a low income. Even if you are above the poverty line, if the cost of health insurance happens to exceed an eight percent household income threshold you are exempt from Obamacare through at least 2014 (this law might change).

Technically, anyone who makes less than $14,856 per year are exempt from Obamacare's state exchanges but an extended Medicaid program is supposed to cover the poor for free. When Obamacare went to the Supreme court the Medicaid expansion requirement was overturned. This means that states can choose to reject the Medicaid expansion for the poor yet still receive full Federal funding under the Affordable Care Act. So you will need to check whether your particular state covers you underneath the Medicaid expansion if your income is less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line.

Another set of laws provide Obamacare exemptions for those who use or purchase Obamacare alternatives. For example, Tony Meggs, president and CEO of Christian Care Ministry, says his non-profit health care sharing Medi-Share ministry is the perfect Obamacare exemption for Christians:

"Many Christians don't even know that they have an option to manage their healthcare in a way that aligns with their faith. Healthcare sharing allows people of faith to only support tests and procedures they believe in and to save a significant amount of money. Increasingly more people are considering Medi-Share as the January deadline to comply with the individual mandate is quickly approaching."

Other Obamacare Exemptions: Congress And The Politics Behind The Claims

The government also doesn't want the younger generations to use Obamacare exemptions to skip out on healthcare insurance. Since previously existing conditions can no longer be rejected by health insurance companies the concern is that mostly healthy youth will choose to ignore health insurance until they need it. When the Affordable Care Act was under debate in the Supreme Court last year, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out the youth, or those in the 18-to-35 age bracket, currently spend an average of $854 a year on healthcare. This presents a problem since the Obamacare state exchanges need at least 2.7 million American youths in the 18-to-35 age group to sign up and spend a minimum of $5,800 on average. If they don't, the Obamacare state exchanges will fail and Obamacare will die with it.

There's also the debate over whether Obamacare exemptions for Congress exist. Unfortunately, an Obamacare exemptions fact check has turned into a political football with some saying outright Congress is exempt from Obamacare while others point the history of the exemption is a bit more complicated.

But whether or not you call this true or false seems to depend on how you define an exemption. Based upon how the Affordable Care Act was written, the short version is that Congressional employees still fall under Obamacare but they do need a special dispensation in order to prevent them from being forced out of their current health insurance plans and onto the state exchanges. This would cause their rates to go up dramatically, which Congress fears would cause a "brain drain."

Will you you use Obamacare exemptions to avoid the Affordable Care Act? Or do you believe it would be wrong to do so?