Obamacare A Self-Described "Hardship"
Posted in the Grand Rapids Forum
#1 Dec 20, 2013
The dumped coverage crowd will be free to claim a self-reported "hardship" exemption from the individual mandate tax altogether in 2014.
These hardship exemptions apply to perhaps millions of Americans who are newly uninsured because of Obamacare. Note well that the "hardship" here is not technical or enrollment troubles with the exchange websites. Instead, the new category of hardship applies to those who "believe" they cannot afford the law's new rates. This is the administration's first high-profile admission that the 'Affordable' Care Act is in fact unaffordable for huge swaths of Americans.
On a logistical level, it will be somewhat complicated to keep track of who genuinely falls within this group, and it will be impossible to determine if claims of self-reported financial hardship are well-founded. It appears there will be no attempt by the government to verify claimants' financial status.
Incidentally, Kaiser Health News reports today that people on employer-based plans should brace for significant cost increases next year. And that doesn't even take into consideration the massive "disruptions" (ie, insurers pulling out of exchanges and additional premium spikes) triggered by these new on-the-fly rule changes. And don't forget that some large number of Americans with employer-based plans will lose their coverage ahead of the employer mandate kicking in. That mandate was unilaterally delayed by the president until 2015.
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