According to this Wall Street Journal report the Obama White House is walking back the Individual Mandate by two years, for the millions of people who had their health insurance policies canceled as a result of changes required by the ACA.
ObamaCare's Secret Mandate ExemptionObama has let other deadlines written into the A.C.A. slide (like the one covering employers by one year) causing a great deal of consternation among the Republicans, and some complaints being murmured on the left (without much notice).
HHS quietly repeals the individual purchase rule for two more years.
...last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.
This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.
That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.
In 2013, HHS decided that ObamaCare's wave of policy terminations qualified as a "hardship" that entitled people to a special type of coverage designed for people under age 30 or a mandate exemption. HHS originally defined and reserved hardship exemptions for the truly down and out such as battered women, the evicted and bankrupts.
Last month in another change the White House said people would be able to go back to their canceled health insurance policies. That idea was largely dismissed by the insurance companies as being unworkable.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is going more slowly than congress envisioned when it was passed.