Information for the 2007 Waiver Process from the Individual Mandate- the text is taken directly off of the Connector's website due to the link not working properly and will give you a sense of the criteria.

We have also linked to the information page from the Connector's website on the waiver process from the Individual Mandate- However, we strongly recommend that you work with a health care advocate when filing for a waiver. OF note is if you can't afford health insurance that is not MCC compliant (ie where you work is offering health insurance but it does not meet the MCC requirement- you may also see if you can get a waiver from the Mandate)



"Information About Financial Hardship Waivers For The 2007 Individual Mandate Penalty  

What if the Affordability Schedule says that I can afford health insurance, but I really can't because I had a financial hardship in 2007?

  If you experienced a "financial hardship" during 2007 you may qualify for a waiver of the penalty.  The Health Connector Authority oversees the waiver process

What Qualifies as a "financial hardship"?

A "financial hardship" means that, during 2007, you:

* Were homeless, or were more than 30 days overdue in rent or mortgage payments, or received an eviction or foreclosure notice.

* Received a shut-off notice, or were shut off, or were refused the delivery of essential utilities (gas, electric, oil, water, or telephone).

* Had non-cosmetic medical and/or dental out-of-pocket expenses (not including premium payments), totaling more that 7.5% of your household's adjusted gross income that were not subject to payment by a third-party.

* Incurred a significant, unexpected increase in basic living expenses resulting directly from the consequences of: * Domestic violence * The death of a spouse, family member, or partner with primary responsibility for child care.

* The sudden responsibility for providing full care for an aging parent or other family member, including a major, extended illness of a child that requires a working parent to hire a full-time caretaker for the child.

* A fire, flood, natural disaster, or other unexpected natural or human-caused event causing substantial household or personal damage.

* Can establish that the expense of purchasing health insurance would have caused you to experience a serious deprivation of food, shelter, clothing or other necessities.

Is there anything else that qualifies as a financial hardship?

In addition to the criteria listed above, the Connector Authority will also consider whether your family size was so large that reliance on the Affordability Schedule would result in a significant inequity. 

Finally, the Connector will consider any other grounds that you claim made you unable to afford to purchase health insurance in 2007.

If I have experienced a financial hardship, what should I do to avoid the penalty?

In most cases, the easiest option will be to apply for a penalty waiver when you file your 2007 Massachusetts income taxes (due April 15, 2008).  The state tax return will include a form that will permit you to state the ground for the waiver. If you file that form asking for a waiver, the Connector will review your request.  We may ask for more information or give you a hearing.  If you qualify for a waiver, we will notify you and the penalty will not be assessed. If you do not qualify, you will be notified in writing and you will have the right to challenge that decision in court.  If you request a waiver, you will not have to pay the penalty until we make the decision on your request.

Another option is to apply for a Certificate of Exemption before December 31, 2007.  To obtain a Certificate, you will be asked to submit a detailed application and provide proof of your financial situation.  If the exemption is granted, it will be good only for the 2007 tax return.

There will be more information available shortly on how to apply for a Certificate of Exemption."