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Mary BatesMary BatesThis past open enrollment session I had many people ask if the individual mandate to have health coverage had been repealed? The answer is yes for 2019 and no for 2018. The rumors flying around early last fall of no more penalties for not having insurance had not yet been passed, therefore the current law of the land remains the Affordable Care Act and all of its' mandates. Here is a synopsis of what happened in Washington in 2017:

May 4, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health are Act (AHCA). This was a major step in Congressional effort to reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. Some of the major changes are:

  • Medicaid Expansion Discontinued\
  • Tax Penalty for not Having Coverage is Removed
  • How You Qualify for Premium Subsidies Changes
  • How Your Monthly Premium is Determined
  • Health Insurance Tax is Removed
  • New Funding Intended to Stabilize the Market\

This bill then went to the Senate, who revised the draft to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). The Senate kept most of AHCA's points, and added these items:

July 11, 2017

  • Employer Mandate Repealed
  • Cadillac Tax Delay Until 2026
  • Increase FSA Contributions to $5000 (currently $2600)
  • Metal Levels Repealed in 2020
  • Catastrophic Plans for Employers
  • HSA Contributions and Uses Expanded
  • Essential Health Benefits

What happened? Senate did not receive enough support to proceed with comprehensive health care reform, and bi-partisan market stabilization did not materialize. Congress moved on to Federal Tax Reform, which was passed late in 2107, and CHIP authorization.

December 20, 2017

  • Tax Reform Bill was Passed
  • Obamacare's Individual Mandate was Repealed Beginning 2019

In conclusion, only the individual mandate to have health coverage was repealed, not ACA or Obamacare. Obamacare is still in force, as is the individual mandate through 2018. One can still be fined for not having health insurance in 2018. Let us know if you have any questions, and have a great new year!

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