With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, every American citizen has an opportunity to buy health insurance without having to worry about preexisting conditions, gender, or astronomical premiums. Those who do not have some form of coverage are subject to penalties under the “individual mandate” of the new law.
Despite these regulations of the Affordable Care Act, there are some people who are considered exempt from keeping an insurance plan that meets the minimum essential coverage standards of Obamacare. Among those exempt are beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DACA is a policy that covers undocumented immigrants who came to the United States prior to their 16th birthday if it occurred before June 2007. That was later expanded to include anyone under the age of 31 before June 15, 2012. Under DACA, these individuals are eligible for a renewable two-year work permit and they are not subject to deportation.
DACA and the Affordable Care Act
In consideration of the mandates set forth under the Affordable Care Act, DACA recipients are not only exempt from the coverage requirement of the individual mandate, but they are also exempt from paying the penalty that comes with not having proper coverage. This is because DACA recipients are not eligible to apply for Obamacare since they are not lawfully included as part of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act as non-citizens.
While DACA recipients are not eligible as part of the law, there are some exceptions to the rule. Due to the fact that some children who are DACA recipients come from families of mixed status, these “DACA-mented” youth may count towards the definition of household size for eligible family members.
Tax Exemption from the Individual Mandate
Those DACA-mented individuals who are not eligible to apply for Obamacare and wish to claim their exemption from paying the penalty that comes with failing to secure insurance coverage, IRS Form 8965 must be filed with a 1040 federal income tax return form. When filling out Form 8965, the Code C exemption must be indicated which denotes that you were not lawfully present for the year. Be sure to declare that you were exempt for the whole year if applicable.
The Code C exemption does not require you to reveal your immigration status as it incorporates a variety of people who are not eligible to qualify for Obamacare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. In the event you do not have to file a return due to your income being too low, no additional actions need to be taken in order to claim the exemption.
In some states, DACA recipients may be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Most such individuals who are defined by their non-citizen status may be unaware of this very fact.
That’s why the states that have extended Medicaid to the DACA-mented are working to get the word out and make them aware of these recent updates to the current policies. Like most applicants who are seeking coverage under the Medicaid program, DACA recipients can qualify for coverage and state tax credits based upon factors such as income and the size of the household.