Do You Have to Have Health Insurance in the US?
In 2010, when President Obama gave his signature to make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act law, one of the most important parts of the historic healthcare reform was the "individual mandate."
The individual mandate stipulated that almost all citizens of the United States must maintain health insurance coverage. What would you do without any coverage? You were subject to a fine, which you had to pay.
Republican legislators, on the other hand, have had issues with the individual mandate from the very beginning. A legal challenge was made against that aspect of Obamacare. In 2012, the Supreme Court decided that the requirement was constitutional.
Elimination of Penalty Fee
In spite of this, Congress approved Tax Cuts and Jobs Act under the control of the Republican Party. President Trump then signed it into law. This resulted in the elimination of the penalty fines associated with the individual mandate throughout the US.
As of the 1st of the year 2019, the individual mandate, in the form in which we were previously familiar with it, was no longer necessary under the law.
What Percentage of Americans Do Not Have Health Insurance?
Since the Affordable Care Act, there has been a general downward trend in the number of uninsured people. Simply put, ACA has made it a lot simpler for uninsured people in the United States to get health insurance.
48 million people in the United States did not have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This number has dropped to 30 million by the year 2022.
What exactly did the individual mandate suppose to accomplish?
The individual mandate had the intention of shielding the United States insurance market from "adverse selection."
Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance companies had the discretion. They could either refuse to provide health coverage to those with a pre-existing illness or charge them higher rates.
Not only did the Affordable Care Act make it unlawful for insurance companies to refuse coverage, but it also utilized the individual mandate to increase the size of the pool of people who are covered.
In other words, the individual mandate assures that those who are otherwise healthy will still get coverage for health insurance. Because of this, health insurance firms are able to reduce the monthly rates that their customers must pay.
Since everyone had health insurance, the American government didn’t have to cover the medical expenses of those people who did not have insurance and were unable to pay for their treatment.
Who is subject to the individual mandate, and what are the exemptions from its provisions?
Because of the individual mandate, almost all people living in the United States who did not have health insurance between the years of 2010 and 2018 may have to pay a penalty charge the next year or at some point in the future.
This price comes in the form of an additional tax that one has to pay. It is for the period of time that you were uninsured. Anyone who meets one or more of the following criteria is excused from having to maintain health insurance coverage:
● Served time in a prison
● Had a tax return that was not required since their income was so little and did not warrant it being filed
● Were individuals who belonged to a Native American tribe
● Had a religious belief that prevented them from obtaining health insurance
● Participated in a healthcare-sharing ministry as a member
● Was not authorized to be in the United States
● A hardship exception
● Paid a specific percentage or more of their salary into their health insurance premiums each month. Each year, the precise proportion was determined by the IRS.