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Admin Looks To Expand Hardship Exemptions To The Individual Mandate

by Countable | 1.26.18

What’s the story?

Did you know you can get a "hardship exemption" to Obamacare’s individual mandate? I didn’t.

Currently, there are 13 possible reasons to be exempted from tax penalties for not maintaining continuous health coverage. There’s also the possibility of proposing another reason not listed and getting authorization.

The administration is reported to be contemplating expanding the list of qualifying reasons in order to offer relief from the individual mandate sooner rather than later.

The requirement to purchase coverage was eliminated by the tax bill, but won’t go into effect until 2019, according to the Washington Post. If the administration expands the reasons to qualify for exemptions for the current year, then individuals could use the expanded list when they file their taxes for 2018.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services could issue an additional guidance, but have been reportedly waiting until Alex Azar was confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary. Azar was confirmed on Wednesday.

What do you think?

Should the administration expand the qualifying reasons for hardship exemptions from the individual mandate or not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Healthcare.gov)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(30)
  • Hillary
    01/26/2018
    ···

    UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE NOW! What kind of people are we that we put profit for the few over life and death for the many? Look at what you are proposing! That people who are in such dire straits that they can’t afford even the most basic health insurance be given an ok not to buy it. What happens when they get sick? Are they supposed to just drop dead and get out of the way of the obscenely wealthy having every last cent?

    Like (11)
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  • RadicalModerate
    01/26/2018
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    Universal healthcare now!

    Like (9)
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  • Shai
    01/26/2018
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    Those who govern America, Republican and Democrat, have continued the insanity of over funding the militaristic destruction of human life rather than acknowledging, like EVERY other industrialized country, that Health Care is a Basic Human Right. Bernie Sanders’ call for Single Payer - Medicare for All Americans - would only require a humane adjustment of where America puts her wealth and her priorities.

    Like (6)
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  • Anita
    01/26/2018
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    No it is just another attack on Obamacare. Trump has a vendetta to destroy anything “Obama”.

    Like (5)
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  • Justin
    01/26/2018
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    We are going to help you ! By giving you $20 more in your paycheck! (You will be paying off the $1.5 trillion forever) oh yea & your health insurance will double or triple !

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  • John
    01/26/2018
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    Universal single payer healthcare, now!

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  • Donna
    01/26/2018
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    I am tired of this administration screwing with the health insurance protections Americans received under the ACA. DJT promised a 'Repeal and Replace' of the ACA during his bellicose and contentious campaign. He promised he alone could fix the system. He said the result would be cheaper, better health CARE for all Americans. One year in, not only has the ACA not been repealed, the petty, vindictive moves taken by this administration have resulted in higher costs, less coverage and less Americans with health insurance. If this is how DJT and his republican cronies fix things, I want them to stop right now. These attacks on the ACA, instigated because neither DJT nor the GOP-led Congress had any plan or desire to actually fix the system, are hurting AMERICAN citizens. Chipping away at provisions of the current law, just because he can, is causing the entire system to collapse. Just another campaign promise he had no intention on keeping. After all, the 'forgotten man' doesn't have billions of dollars, belong to one of his obnoxious golf clubs or dine at '21' in NYC. He is still forgotten.

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  • R. ben
    01/26/2018
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    This sounds like a good idea to me. The government needs to focus on lowering costs of health care by having an open competitive market, not monopolies, not single payer. Let’s face it Obamacare failed its time for a repeal, and replace it with a free open market. Then if you STILL can’t afford and you want, work that out with Medicare and/or Medicade.

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  • Anita
    01/26/2018
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    Protect Obamacare!

    Like (2)
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  • Jim2423
    01/26/2018
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    It is time for ONE health insurance for all. Regular insurance companies operate on a profit basis for their investors. That limits what they can pay for in health care. We need a non profit insurance where we all pay one fee. Most low wage folks can not afford the insurance and maintain a home life. Let alone the deductibles. I am lucky enough to have insurance but it keeps going up faster than my pay raises and lessens coverage. Yes Universal Insurance is time now. That way congress would have the same as everyone else. Then we may have really good coverage.

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  • BeStrong
    01/26/2018
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    I’ve seen comments here that refer to Americans as leeches?! Are we ‘Mad’?! Have you sat by the bedside of a cancer victim? Would you call your mother or grandmother a ‘Leech’ if they fell ill and did not have the ability to buy ‘open market’ priced health insurance. We are the Only 1st World economy that does NOT support health care for all. It is only blissful ignorance that would have one say ‘Grandmother is a leech’. You would support a $25,000,000,000 wall but not Americans?! We are better than this. Support Single Payer.

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  • Marcus
    01/26/2018
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    I don’t think the individual mandate was a good idea to lower premiums. I understand the thinking and it makes sense, but someone like myself who’s disabled, unemployed and not getting benefits, I just can’t get behind it. So I agree with expanding the exemptions. But I don’t agree with doing this as a power play to dismantle healthcare legislation. We should be working together to make the system better!

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  • Marylynn
    01/26/2018
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    I'm pretty sure the insurance companies had a hand in this. This administration doesn't care about any of us, they're only interested in helping the corporations and top 1%. We're getting screwed over every day and there isn't a lawmaker in office that has done a damn thing about it. It's time for all of them to either do what's right for everyone, or get the hell out of office. STOP TOYING WITH OUR LIVES.

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  • Leon
    01/26/2018
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    I see the lemmings have continued the mantra of single payer. It works SO well for Medicare and Medicaid. These programs can’t even get billing and fraud under control yet a small segment of our population doesn’t understand that the GOVERNMENT aid the problem in the equation. Regulations have not been effective and have created a complex system where you can’t even ‘shop around’ for better cost or service but are tied to a group you select. Government run, people funded insurance sucks and is the most costly option. For instance, Obamacare added 16,000 initial employees to deal with the program. Who knows what the impact is to the insurers? I bought a cpap directly since it was almost half price if you didn’t use insurance. How is this possible? Because regulations and complex insurer programs cost money. Just look at publication 502 if you want to see complex. How about all medical becomes deductible? The ability to deduct these would simplify the insurance industry and facilitate care. What about creating commodity markets similar to dental or optical? While those services are not inexpensive, they are more in line due to competition. Single payer will REMOVE competition and make the ‘bad old rich people’ even richer. Just look at the education system- tuition continues to grow substantially even though wages for those careers do not at the same rate. Stop being foolish and start to take some responsibility.

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  • Gerald
    01/26/2018
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    Go ahead. Add the hardship exemption “It was against my religion to purchase healthcare insurance that supports abortion”. The Trump team will accelerate even faster their plans to sabotage the ACA. Remember all the protests a year ago and how we drew comfort from the resistance to “Repeal and .... Well, replace with something more affordable and better but we’re working on that”. A year later, they have brilliantly sabotaged it everywhere possible and it won’t survive. Like a page out of the anti abortion playbook, get your way by passing laws specific to clinics like hallway widths or admitting privileges at a hospital that won’t give them to drs who perform abortions. The nazis didn’t win in Germany, they just took over after creating chaos in government and began to arrest opposition.

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  • GatewayJohn
    01/28/2018
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    No problem with expansion of exception as long as Obsmacare remains in placw

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  • Countryfirst
    01/26/2018
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    Healthcare for all and leave our social programs alone..want to pay for everything..get rid of the ASININE tax break for the rich!

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  • KansasTamale
    01/27/2018
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    These exemptions are perfectly fine the way they are. ACA is being dismantled by Congress and Trump by picking away at parts of it. This is extremely hard hearted since so many people have signed up & depend on ACA for their healthcare.

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  • M
    01/26/2018
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    The working poor need the exemption to the mandate. Many have to choose between food & shelter, or medical care.

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  • Stephanie
    01/26/2018
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    I am for expanding exemptions for the mandate.

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