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ACA Mandate Gone, But a Few States Still Require Coverage

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Bob Salsberg, January 1, 2019, AP News

Summarized by: Linda Zheng

The penalty for not having health insurance under the Affordable Care Act expired on Jan 2, 2019. Several states have already established or have drafted into law the health insurance mandate for most of its residents, replacing the federal mandate. In fact, Massachusetts has a coverage rate as high as 97.5% ever since the overhaul signed by Mitt Romney, then Republican Governor. Some states plan on implementing incentivizing methods to increase healthcare enrollment. For example, Maryland uses tax penalties that an individual pay as down payment towards the state’s health insurance program. It balances the healthcare market by diversifying risks and preventing higher premiums. Although healthcare enrollment dropped from 2018 to 2019, decreasing from 8.8 to 8.5 million, enrollment did not decrease to the extent that was forecasted. The personal decision to purchase a health insurance may be less contingent on threats of a fine than previously thought.

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