Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Health Insurance Marketplace is where you can view and enroll in health insurance coverage online. Visit the Liberty Health Exchange to view your health insurance options.

What is Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment is the only time period during the year in which individuals and families can enroll in a qualifying health insurance plan in the Marketplace.

What is the penalty for not having health insurance?
The penalty for not having health coverage in 2014 is 1% of taxable household income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, whichever is greater. In 2015, the penalty will be 2% of taxable household income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, whichever is greater. In 2016, the penalty will rise to 2.5% of taxable household income or $695 per person, whichever is greater.

How can I get insurance?
DIY Tax can provide options to assist you with signing up for a qualified health insurance plan. You can enroll in health insurance at your nearest Liberty Tax location, Liberty Health Exchange, or by calling 855-370-7739.

What are tax subsidies and exemptions?
A tax subsidy is a tax credit that provides assistance with paying for health coverage purchased through the Marketplace.  This credit can be reconciled as a refundable credit on your tax return. A coverage exemption may help you to avoid paying a penalty on your taxes for not having health insurance.

How can I apply for an exemption?
DIY Tax’s Affordable Care Act Health Exemptions Guide can help you submit an application for a coverage exemption. If you qualify for an exemption that requires a paper application, it will take approximately 2-8 weeks to receive your Exemption Certificate Number (ECN) from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Your ECN is needed to file your taxes.

How can I get a subsidy?
Liberty Tax provides a subsidy calculator to help you determine if you qualify for any subsidies that will help reduce insurance costs for you and your family.

Are businesses required to offer insurance to employees?
Businesses with 100 or more full-time employees during the 2015 tax year are required to offer insurance to employees. Beginning in the 2016 tax year, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees are required to offer insurance to employees. Businesses that do not offer insurance coverage to employees could face a tax penalty. Smaller businesses, or businesses that do not meet the threshold requirement for full-time employees, are not required to offer health insurance to employees.

Are there tax subsidies available for smaller employers?
Yes. For smaller companies that want to offer insurance to employees, tax credits are available to offset the costs if the company purchases coverage through the SHOP Marketplace.

What if I can’t afford insurance?
You can get a free quote and check to see if you qualify for a federal subsidy to help with the cost of health insurance on the Liberty Health Exchange website. You can also check to see if you qualify for a coverage exemption.

I am the parent of a college student. Can I keep my child on my health plan?
If your child is under the age of 26, you can keep him or her on your health insurance plan. Those over the age of 26 will need to have their own qualifying health plan or qualify for a coverage exemption to avoid a penalty on their taxes.


Affordable Care Act (ACA): A law passed in 2010 requiring Americans to maintain health insurance. The goal of the act is to help control the increasing cost of health care and establish affordable health insurance options.

Family Size: The total number in a family. This may include the taxpayer, spouse, and dependents.
Ex. TJ is married and has two dependents. TJ’s family size is:

TJ: 1
TJ’s Spouse: 1
Child One: 1
Child Two: 1
Family Size: 4

Federal Poverty Level: The set minimum amount of gross income that a family needs for food, clothing, transportation, shelter and other necessities. The level varies according to family size.

Full-Time Employee: Determined on a monthly basis. Employee is employed, on average, at least 30 hours/week or at least 130 hours/month. The calculation includes all paid hours including but not limited to: vacation, military duty, holiday, sick pay, jury duty, disability.

Health Insurance: A type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insured.

Minimum Essential Coverage: The type of health insurance that individuals must have in order to meet ACA requirements and avoid tax penalties. The plan must include the minimum essential benefits. Types of plans include: employer-sponsored plans, employer-sponsored retiree health plan, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, grandfathered health plans, coverage from a health plan purchased in the Exchange.

Qualified-Health Plan: A health insurance plan that meets requirements under the ACA. This includes key characteristics such as (but is not limited to) minimum essential coverage and limits on deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximum amounts.

Subsidy: Assistance to help middle- and low-income individuals pay for health insurance. There are two types of subsidies: premium tax credits and cost-sharing assistance

See What the ACA Means for You