I was in the US from 2010 - July, 2016, and had health insurance all the time. In August, 2016, I moved back to my home country for good - but technically I still count as a resident alien for 2016 in the US for tax purposes.

For 2016, I had health insurance up to July. After I moved back home, I didn't have health insurance from July - December (obviously, since I didn't need it and I wasn't planning on moving back).

When filing my taxes on TurboTax, they're fining me $100 per month for each of those months that I didn't have health insurance. Is there any way to avoid this tax penalty?

I don't seem to qualify for any of the exemptions listed here.


  • Did you have some sort of coverage in your home country?
    – Hart CO
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 18:28
  • @HartCO yes I do.
    – ganduG
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 18:34
  • 3
    "A self-insured group health plan (like from an employer) is considered minimal essential coverage for the months you are living abroad no matter where the plan is located, so long as it is regulated by the foreign government." obamacarefacts.com/questions/…
    – Hart CO
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 18:39
  • Hopefully that applies, if it's some other form of coverage it may not qualify as MEC (minimal essential coverage), unfortunately.
    – Hart CO
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


You are exempt from the penalty for any months that you qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (through either the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Resident Test). The Physical Presence Test applies to any 12-month period where you are physically outside the US at least 330 days. You should be able to use the 12-month period after you left (i.e. August 2016 - July 2017); if you are outside the US for 330 days in that period, you should be exempt from penalty during those months.

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