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Debate Over Delaying Individual Mandate Grows Louder

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 12, 2013

The actuaries said that the adverse selection that would occur as a result of delaying these provisions could affect not only the risk pools and claims in 2014, but also the premiums for 2015, since enrollment information from 2014 would factor in to the development of 2015 rates.

"Irrespective of your views of the ACA, the individual mandate and limited open enrollment periods are integral components of the law, and delaying their implementation could have significant implications for health insurance coverage and costs," the letter said.

However, the actuaries did not entirely rule out delaying a reconfiguration of the implementation dates and deadlines if the technical issues that have hobbled the "marketplace enrollment process persist over a longer period of time." 

Payers' Reaction
America's Health Insurance Plans on Monday flatly stated that the PPACA cannot work without the individual mandate [PDF].

"The ACA includes a broad array of insurance market reforms, such as guaranteed issue, community rating, and prohibiting pre-existing condition exclusions that are intended to work in tandem with new insurance marketplaces, subsidies, and the individual coverage requirements to extend coverage to 30 million Americans," AHIP said.

"However—absent the individual mandate—these reforms will result in higher premiums, more uninsured, and disruption in coverage for millions of Americans due to adverse selection. That is the conclusion of independent, non-partisan experts— including the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Urban Institute, and the RAND Corporation." 

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1 comments on "Debate Over Delaying Individual Mandate Grows Louder"


Tyco Brahe (11/12/2013 at 10:30 AM)
The ACA won't work if the individual mandate is delayed. The GOP knows this very well, which is exactly why it's pushing the delay. The website should work within a month. People will then have until March 31st to sign up[INVALID]plenty of time. Plus, the flaws in most websites only show up when people try to use it in real time. Delaying the mandate to fix the website makes no sense. We'll go through the same thing next year.