A key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) included a penalty for individuals who did not obtain health insurance. This fee was included on tax returns, encouraging many to buy coverage.
Though the individual mandate of ObamaCare has been repealed at a federal level, its penalties still exist in five states and Washington, DC; they reflect what was originally required under ACA.
The answer is yes
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes provisions designed to assist people in affording health insurance, such as an individual mandate that mandates people have coverage or pay a penalty. Together with financial aid that makes coverage more affordable for lower income people, these requirements have helped increase enrollment both in the individual marketplace and overall market.
The Affordable Care Act also contained provisions designed to make it easier for people with preexisting conditions to acquire health insurance by permitting insurers to consider applicants’ medical histories when considering them for coverage. Unfortunately, this caused premiums for everyone else to increase, making it harder for some individuals to afford health coverage.
Thus, many key components of the Affordable Care Act were unpopular, including its individual mandate and subsidies for health insurance subsidies. A 2017 Urban Institute study revealed that most Americans wanted the individual mandate and penalty repealed (though they do not wish for health insurance prices to rise as a result).
Republicans in Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act late 2017 which replaced Obamacare with their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, eliminating its individual mandate penalty starting in 2019. Nonetheless, this did not alter any other requirements pertaining to individual marketplace coverage or alter legal obligations related to minimum essential coverage requirements.
Since the cancellation of the penalty, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that individual marketplace health insurance rates have increased 10 percent – prompting most initial filings for 2019 with premium increases, with this effect eventually becoming standard premiums in subsequent years.
While the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) penalty may no longer be in force, it remains imperative to remember that health insurance remains mandatory at both the federal level and five states plus Washington DC. Furthermore, some states impose their own mandates or penalties; thus it’s crucial that before deciding if purchasing health plans it be researched beforehand in your particular jurisdiction.
The answer is no
The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known by its popular moniker Obamacare, has revolutionized how America delivers health insurance coverage to citizens. Though some aspects of it are popular with many Americans – like not being denied coverage due to preexisting conditions – there are other components they dislike as well; such as its individual mandate which requires people to have insurance or pay a fine; this penalty was designed to encourage people to obtain health coverage under the ACA and drive its compliance.
The individual mandate has now been eliminated thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in late 2017. Although its repeal took effect immediately in 2019, there was an initial one year delay before those without health coverage had to pay the penalty fee.
Prior to the elimination of its individual mandate penalty, the Affordable Care Act provided several exemptions from having health insurance. Most commonly these included those with employer or government sponsored plans such as Medicare, Medicaid or VA coverage as well as immigration status changes, job loss or other qualifying events or experiencing serious illness or injury necessitating coverage as well as those with serious illnesses deemed medically necessary to have coverage.
The penalty for not having health insurance was designed as a “stick” to encourage people to enroll, and it worked effectively. So much so, that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), subsidies were offered in addition to penalties; although penalties are no longer as effective, carrots remain and could prove invaluable for many Americans seeking affordable health plans that fit their needs and budgets.