by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
…until North Carolina’s federally-facilitated insurance exchange marketplace opens for enrollment.
On Tuesday, the Obama administration officially announced that the “individual shared responsibility” provision (code for the individual mandate, for pressuring healthy individuals to purchase health plans on the exchanges so their costly premiums can weigh down the high-risk population premiums, and for government coercion) will abide by its statutory deadline.
Starting in 2014, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for each individual to have basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return. Individuals will not have to make a payment if coverage is unaffordable, if they spend less than three consecutive months without coverage, or if they qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs.