I had several short coverage gaps in a year – I was uninsured in March, then again in August. Since the total gap was less than 3 months, am I exempt from the penalty?
The rule for short coverage gaps is that only the first short coverage gap in a year will be recognized. You wouldn’t be penalized for lacking coverage in March, but you may owe a penalty for your second gap in coverage in August if you don’t otherwise qualify for an exemption during that period.
However for 2018, if you experienced hardship that prevented you from getting coverage, you can claim a hardship exemption directly on your 2018 federal income tax return.