For many, the Individual Shared Responsibility payment is another irritating factor of healthcare as it can add to yet another unforeseen financial burden to the pockets of Americans. However, we learned earlier in the month that a bill was proposed to exempt this Mandate for some, should their CO-OP qualified healthcare plan be terminated.
On September 27th, the House approved that bill. In a 258 to 165 vote, individuals whose qualifying CO-OP health plans have been terminated can now be eligible for an exemption from the Individual Shared Responsibility payment. The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Adrian Smithof Nebraska, shows that as exemptions are made for such plans including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, so shall terminated CO-OP plans.
Fellow Republican Nebraskan Senator Ben Sasse echoed Sen. Smith’s sentiment in a statement with “I’m proud to join that effort by introducing this bill in the Senate.” As one point of opposition (and a suggestion that President Obama would veto the bill), the question arose as to whether or not introducing these loopholes to the Individual Shared Responsibility payment would then ignite higher premiums and deductibles. However, as we are learning with individual spending habits, many are already purchasing higher deductible plans with HRAs and HSAs being added to employer-sponsored benefits.
While this news may be great to some and troubling to others, it certainly rings clearly that the ACA is still a work in progress. One that should keep us all tuned in with its continuous changes.
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