Coverage and Exemption for Long-term Travelers, What are the Rules?

My husband and I spent 11 months of 2014 outside of the US on long term travel, so we were not physically present in the US and did not take out health insurance.

It seems we might be exempt from the Shared Responsibility Provision, however we are not eligible under the foreign earned income exclusion clause because we were traveling and not ‘resident in another country’ or earning an income at all. Is there another way to claim an exemption?

As we will not be returning to the US until later this year we are facing a similar situation for 2015, should we take part in open enrollment even though we don’t yet know which state we will reside in, or should we wait until we are resident again?

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can i qualify for the exemption for being out of the country for 8 months studying in keiser University an American University When i move back I will trigger a 60 Special Enrollment Period for you to get coverage starting on your move date.


That is a great question. Looking through the IRS website, including the 8965 instructions (, we can’t find any travel specific exemptions for those who claim income, and are out of the country less than 330 days.

Other ideas: You could get some sort of travelers insurance (but in general it’s all short term and doesn’t protect you from the fee), only “certain foreign coverage” does, or if you qualify for “a foreign earned income exclusion under section 911”.

Why not call HeatlhCare.Gov or the IRS and ask? Let us know what you find.

Marketplace: 1-800-318-2596 – TTY: 1-855-889-4325
IRS: 1-800-829-1040


Thank you, this is helpful! A question for clarification:

In 2015 it looks like we will return to the US in May. At this point we will have been out of the US for more than the two month ‘gap period’ allowed for no coverage, but less than the 330 days that would qualify us for the exemption for 2015. Are we still qualified for an exemption for those months or should we pay for basic coverage now? If we go without coverage and are fined will it be on a per month basis for the time we are not covered (i.e. Jan – May) or would we be fined 2% of our total income for the rest of the year?

Thank you!

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