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SVT Health & Wellness Provides Assistance for Alaska Native and American Indian People with the Affordable Care Act’s Indian Status Exemption

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rolls out across the country, SVT Health & Wellness continues examining this historic health care landmark and supporting Alaska Native and American Indian people affected by the ACA. In November, SVT Health & Wellness learned of an unexpected ACA change that specifically applies to Alaska Native and American Indian people. Alaska Native and American Indian people must apply for an Indian Status Exemption to avoid a tax penalty associated with the ACA. Exemption paperwork was released to the public this week.

Below is detailed information about the ACA’s Indian Status Exemption and its associated paperwork, as well as frequently asked questions about the ACA and the Indian Status Exemption:

Beginning January 1, 2014, every American must demonstrate health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but there are special exemptions that apply to Alaska Native and American Indian people. Alaska Native and American Indian people are exempt from the requirement to purchase insurance if they can show evidence of:

• Enrollment in a federally recognized Tribe;
• Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) shareholder status (village or regional), or;
• Eligibility to receive services from an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility/Tribal health care provider

Q: How do I qualify for the Alaska Native and American Indian Status Exemption?
A: To qualify for this exemption, Alaska Native and American Indian people will have to apply for the

exemption through a paper application process. This paper application can be downloaded here.

Preferred documents:
· Tribal enrollment card/letter
· Proof of ANCSA Shareholder Status (Regional or Village)

These documents ensure you qualify for ACA special benefits for Alaska Natives and American Indians

Other accepted documents:
· Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) card issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
· IHS Eligibility Letter

Please do not send originals of these documents as they will not be returned to you.

Please remember to complete Step 2 of the application for all members of your family, including children. Also, be sure to send copies of the same supporting documents for every member of your family that needs the Indian Status Exemption to avoid a tax penalty.

Within 2-4 weeks of mailing the form, the Federal government will inform you if they need additional

information. If you receive this exemption, you will be sent an Exemption Certificate Number that you will put on your federal income tax return. It is important to keep a copy of this Exemption Certificate Number in a safe place for future use. If you do not hear from the Federal Government within 4-6 weeks, contact the Health Insurance Marketplace Help Center at 1-800-318-2596.

Frequently asked questions about the ACA:

Q: What if I already have health care coverage?
A: If you have health care coverage through Medicaid, Medicare, Denali KidCare, Veteran’s Benefits or your

employer provides health insurance, you have met the requirements of the Individual Mandate and do not need to purchase additional health care coverage to avoid the tax penalty. You do not need to complete the Indian Status Exemption paperwork if you have health care coverage. However, the Indian Exemption is a lifetime exemption.

Q: If I don’t buy insurance, will I still be able to get health care services at my IHS/Tribal health facility?
A: Yes, you will still be able to get care at your IHS/Tribal health facility. The health care services provided at IHS/Tribal health facilities are not changing. However, you will need to apply for an exemption.


For assistance with the Indian Exemption Status paperwork and to learn more about the other benefits available to Alaska Native and American Indian people, please contact the SVT Health & Wellness Outreach & Eligibility Team at: (907) 226-2228.