Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every American must have health care coverage, but there are special exemptions that exist for Alaska Native and American Indian people. Those that wish to avail themselves of the Alaska Native and American Indian Exemption must show evidence of one of the following:
- Enrollment in a federally recognized Tribe;
- Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) shareholder status (village or regional); or
- Eligibility to receive services from a Tribal health clinic or IHS Facility.
Previously, only members of federally recognized Tribes and shareholders of ANCSA corporations had the option to apply for the Exemption when filing their taxes.
But the federal government recently announced that descendants, people with a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) and/or those eligible to receive services through a Tribal health care provider may now claim the Exemption when filing their taxes.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s (ANTHC) Health Reform team has been assisting people with the Exemption application. Due to ongoing issues with the paper application process, for those who still need to apply for the exemption to avoid the tax penalty for not having health coverage, the ANTHC Health Reform Team now recommends claiming the Exemption when you file your taxes.
When finalized, IRS Tax Form 8965, titled “Health Coverage Exemptions,” will be used to claim the Alaska Native and American Indian Exemption. E-mail the ANTHC Health Reform Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get on the email distribution list to receive the IRS Tax Form 8965 when it is published by the IRS.
If you are eligible for the Exemption but have health insurance coverage, you are still encouraged to apply. That way, you will be covered in the event your insurance situation changes.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act and Alaska Native and American Indian people, and on the Exemption, visit anthctoday.org/aca or call (907) 729-7777.