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Old 10-23-2013, 06:11 PM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Dems go hypocrite on "the law of the land"..mandate possibly delayed

Remember during the shutdown when the Repubs wanted to delay the Obamacare mandate for individuals? Remember how Obama reminded us how Obamacare is "the law of the land" and what not???


Quote:
Obamacare penalties may be delayed

The Obama administration may give Americans an extension on how long they can go without health insurance before facing a penalty under the Affordable Care Act, MarketWatch has learned.

The health care law requires most people to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014 or face a penalty, but the Administration may postpone when those penalties will go into effect. The law allows for “short coverage gaps” of up to three months before imposing the penalty, which is $95 or 1% of an individual’s income (whichever is greater) next year. Under the current rules, someone would have to be covered by March 31, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed, which is the final day that people will be able to purchase health insurance on the public exchanges, or marketplaces, created by the ACA.

But the Administration is currently working to revise its policy to ensure that people who wait till the last day in March to sign up will not face a penalty, the HHS official clarified. That means that people may go uninsured till April or May without paying a fine, as it takes up to two weeks to process health insurance applications, and new health policies take effect on the first day of each month. A last-minute March 31 application, for example, might be processed by mid-April for coverage starting May 1.

As the law stands now, in order to be covered by March 31, people would actually need to have insurance by March 1. And since it takes up to two weeks to process insurance applications, consumers would have to apply by Feb. 15, the Associated Press reported recently. (People must apply by Dec. 15 if they want coverage starting Jan. 1.)

The Administration, however, has recognized that there’s a “disconnect” between the actual and effective deadlines, as the deadline to get health insurance in time to comply with the ACA is currently six weeks earlier than the final deadline to buy it. Now, the Administration is working to make sure the two deadlines line up with each other, says the HHS official. An announcement about when it will enforce the penalty for being uninsured, and whether that penalty will be delayed beyond the de facto March 31 deadline, will come shortly. The insurance requirement still kicks in Jan. 1, and the enrollment period will close March 31 as planned, the official adds.

The potential extension comes as the federal health exchanges are under fire for ongoing technological problems that are making it difficult for some people to enroll. The Obama administration has so far resisted GOP pleas to delay the requirement that individuals purchase insurance next year, but has lately expressed frustration with the technical difficulties. Those problems, perhaps the elephant in the room during deadline discussions, may influence a decision to provide an enrollment grace period to avoid fines.

There is another sign that the penalty policy may be in flux: While HHS referred MarketWatch’s previous inquiries about the fine, and the deadline to avoid it, to the Treasury, a spokesperson there referred a request Wednesday back to HHS, suggesting that the health officials are now the ones writing new rules for the law.

It’s worth noting that the open enrollment period has already been extended to a full six months this year for the implementation of the ACA: In future years, people will have a few months in the fall to enroll in health insurance starting the following January.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oba...me_latest_news

Last edited by petegz28; 10-23-2013 at 06:19 PM..
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