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Individual Mandate Exemptions Finalized

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 28, 2013

The final rule on exemptions from the individual shared responsibility payment penalty mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act identifies nine categories. Less than 2% of Americans are expected to qualify for exemption, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

The Department of Health & Human Services released on Wednesday its final rule [PDF] detailing who is eligible for receive exemptions from the individual shared responsibility payment penalty required as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.

The penalty is a flash point among some interest groups and members of Congress who object to Americans being subjected to the play or pay provision of PPACA. Several bills are expected to be introduced in Congress to remove the penalty entirely.

In a fact sheet released with the rule, HHS contends that the rule "will ease implementation and help to ensure that the shared responsibility payment obligation applies only to the limited group of taxpayers who have ready access to affordable coverage but choose to spend a substantial period of time uninsured."

Less than 2% of Americans are expected to owe a shared responsibility payment, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

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