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White House Clarifies Compliance Date for Individual Mandate

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Legislation and Public Policy, Private Insurers, State Matters

In a statement on October 23, the White House confirmed that individuals who purchase health insurance by March 31, 2014 will not be subject to a penalty under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

As we reported yesterday, the administration had recognized that there was a “disconnect” between the March 31 deadline and the possible effective dates for insurance purchased in the state exchanges, or “marketplaces.”  Many commentators had believed that in order to meet the deadline, a consumer would need to have coverage effective March 1, rather than by April 1 as would be the case for enrollments on or after February 16.  The White House’s statement, however, said: “In the Marketplaces, you have to sign up by the 15th of a given month in order for health insurance to start on the first day of the next month. As a result, some have asked whether consumers could face a tax penalty if they don’t enroll in coverage by Feb. 15th of next year.  This is not the case.  If you sign up for insurance by the end of March, you will not face a penalty.”

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