Penalty for over estimating income? Marketplace/ North Carolina

Greetings all!

So odd situation here, I am 26 and losing coverage at the end of September.

I am enrolled in sort of an odd medical program where I work 50 hours a week for free, and I pay a large amount of money to do this. I am also enrolled in a part time grad program so I have ZERO time to make money on the side. My program does not offer an insurance.

In 2022 so far I made $8,000 as an independent contractor (left my job in august). With that being said, NC did not expand medicaid and I only qualify for catastrophe since I make under the federal poverty guideline for 1 person ($13,590).

I have been told if I overestimated my income to $14,000 that it would be a ‘good faith estimate’, and that I would not be penalized or audited. Does anyone have any experience with this or know anymore about the penalties for overestimating? I simply cannot afford a catastrophe plan for $250/month.

In April/May of 2023 I will make over the federal poverty line because I will be employed and will probably have employer based insurance! Yay!

Thank you all so much.

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