Monday, December 23, 2013

ACA HEALTH CARE - Hardship Waver Possible For Canceled Health Insurance Policies

COMMENT:  On the statement about people complaining about paying for coverage they don't need.

This is further evidence that, as a nation, we have drifted away from the principle of 'the common good.'  We have become a nation of people who overly subscribe to self interest.  Paying for any coverage, whether you use it or not, spreads the cost thereby lowering the burden for those who do use it.

The complaint is very similar to people who do not have children complaining about having to pay any education tax.  They do not see that public education benefits our nation and education taxes are for 'the common good.'

"Obama administration announces special ACA hardship waiver for canceled policies" PBS Newshour 12/20/2013


JUDY WOODRUFF (Newshour):  Let's focus on an issue the president was asked about at length today, the health care law.

Mr. Obama acknowledged the rollout of it was probably his biggest mistake of the year.  But he defended the law overall, and pointed to a big increase in enrollment in the exchanges this month as evidence of his efforts to turn things around.

His remarks came after the administration responded last night to the problem of canceled insurance policies with a special exception.  Those affected can buy cheaper, bare-bones catastrophic coverage if new plans are more expensive.

Mary Agnes Carey watching all this for Kaiser Health News, an independent news organization.

Welcome back to the program.

MARY AGNES CAREY, Kaiser Health News:  Thank you.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So what exactly did the administration announce last night?

MARY AGNES CAREY:  What they said is for these folks in the individual market who may have had their policies canceled -- we're not sure exactly how many have had that.  The estimates are maybe three to four million.

If they have not been able to find a policy that they think is affordable, they can qualify for something called the hardship exemption in the health law.  Typically, this is for some sort of event, like you're homeless or you have been evicted in the last six months, that sort of hardship.  But they're saying that by qualifying for the hardship exemption, there's two things.

Number one, they won't face the individual mandate penalty in 2014, and they would be allowed to buy something called a catastrophic health care policy, which is usually just open to people under the age of 30.

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