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Glossary > Exemption Certificate Number (ECN)

Exemption Certificate Number (ECN)

What Is An Exemption Certificate Number (ECN)?

An exemption certificate number or ECN is a code given to you to if you are granted an exemption from not having to have/buy health insurance. You use this code to fill out a form 8695 when you file your taxes for the year. This allows the IRS to track through the systems, find your exemption and make a notation that you are not charged fees for not having coverage for the tax year in question.

What Qualifies You For An ECN?

There are many ways that you can qualify for the healthcare exemption, and they include but are not limited to the following.

  • Homelessness
  • Where served an eviction notice
  • Received a shut-off notice from a utility company
  • Insurance payments were more than 8% of your total household income
  • You were a victim of domestic violence
  • Experienced the death of a close relative
  • Filed for bankruptcy
  • If you are religious and object to health insurance on the basis of faith
  • If you are a member of a health sharing ministry

This is not an extensive list, so if your reason for wanting an exemption is not on the list you can still file the healthcare exemption and apply for the ECN by using box 14 on the healthcare exemption form.

Applying For An ECN

To apply for the exemption certificate number, you must contact the marketplace as soon as you know you are going to need an exemption certificate number. You have to apply for the exemption certificate number by no later than December 31 of that year because after that the health insurance marketplace cannot file applications over the phone. If you miss the deadline then you will have to file a paper application and apply through the mail. You can also apply for the ECN through the IRS if need be.

When you apply for an exemption through the health insurance marketplace, the representative will take you through an application to purchase health coverage and if all the questions are answered correctly then you will be granted an ECN on the spot. A letter or notice of eligibility will be sent to you and there will be a number printed on the letter in the tabled results. Alternatively, if you wish you can just download a form and apply for the number through the mail. please keep the number in a safe place as you will need it for the form 8965.

What To Do If You Can't Find Your Exemption Certificate Number?

If you should misplace your exemption certificate number, then just contact The Marketplace and one of the friendly reps will be able to look it up on the system. Please keep this number in a safe place as you will need it in order to file your form 8965 form with your 1040 during the tax season. Bear in mind that if you only recently filed your form 8695 by mail, then it may not have been loaded into the electronic database.

You need to apply for an exemption through The Marketplace to avoid a fee for not having coverage. When you file and are approved, you will receive a number to write on your form 8695 so that the IRS will be aware of your entitlement and not charge you any fees for not having coverage. If you do not file a form 8965 then you will almost certainly have to pay a fee for not having coverage.