The Obama Administration recently fixed an issue with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate penalty. Under the law and regulation as originally written, those who purchased health insurance as individuals in the last 45 days of open enrollment could have been subject to paying part of the penalty due to the updated individual enrollment deadline of March 31, 2014. To address this, the regulation has been revised so that anyone who purchases an individual plan by March 31, 2014 will not be required to pay the penalty tax.
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a statement Oct. 28, 2013 providing guidance filing “hardship exemptions” which states, “…unless a hardship exemption is established, individuals who purchase insurance through the Marketplaces towards the end of the initial open enrollment period could be required to make a shared responsibility payment when filing their federal income tax returns in 2015. HHS has determined that it would be unfair to require individuals in this situation to make a payment. Accordingly, HHS is exercising its authority to establish an additional hardship exemption in order to provide relief for individuals in this situation.” Read the whole release here.