Under the Affordable Care Act, penalties are to be issued to those individuals who don’t have health insurance as of March 2014. Several exemptions have already been carved out and deadlines extended, but many are still facing a financial penalty for a lack of coverage next year. On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that another exemption would apply: if an individual’s existing plan is set to be canceled, forcing her into a more expensive plan that meets the ACA’s requirements, that individual can instead purchase catastrophic coverage and assert a “hardship exemption” to avoid any penalty. The exemption was announced in yet another attempt to smooth the transition to the new law and address the looming issue of health insurers canceling legacy plans.
Read more about the announcement in the NY Times.