At the top of September, the House Ways and Means Committee reunited following summer break with new markups surrounding the individual shared responsibility payment requirement of the Affordable Care Act. The main update involves exemptions to said payment, as cancellations of certain plans, leaving many vulnerable to unforeseen expenses.
Individuals can be exempt from the shared responsibility payment should their former CO-OP qualified health plan have been terminated. The reason for doing so is to prevent any future reluctance on behalf of individuals to obtain health care if more fees are tacked on. This is especially true in states with limited healthcare coverage options in their applicable Health Insurance Marketplaces.
In 2016 alone, we’ve witnessed larger health care companies like United Health withdrawing from various markets, leaving less competition and options for citizens. As the shared responsibility payment is already 2.5% of an annual income, the markups appear to be designed to not hold individuals responsible for circumstances beyond their control.
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