HHS effectively delays individual mandate by another month

posted at 1:01 pm on May 3, 2014 by Gabriel Malor

Another day, another Obamacare delay. HHS issued new, er, guidance late yesterday afternoon about how the health care law’s individual mandate will be enforced on those who did not purchase insurance on time. In short, for those who managed to buy insurance by May 1, it won’t be enforced at all. This is the third postponement of the individual mandate.

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein explains:

Starting in 2014, individuals who did not purchase government approved insurance were supposed to be subject to a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of taxable income. Under the original sequence of events, individuals would have had until Feb. 15 to purchase insurance without being fined. Last October, HHS created a “hardship exemption” that pushed the deadline to March 31 to coincide with the end of the open enrollment period for individuals seeking insurance through the federal exchange.

But in late March, HHS effectively extended open enrollment by announcing that anybody who claimed to have tried to sign up for insurance prior to March 31 would still be allowed to do so after that date.

Now, in regulations announced Friday, HHS has created another “hardship exemption” that would allow individuals who obtained insurance as of May 1 to avoid the mandate penalties.

Klein, who really should be your go-to person for Obamacare info, has more at the link about additional “special exemptions.”

The HHS guidance describes the new hardship exemption as necessary because, it claims, individuals may not have realized that they had to purchase insurance by March 31. To be honest, given the numerous arbitrary changes the Obama administration has made to the health care law, that’s not all that unbelievable.

There is, of course, no real accountability those taking advantage of this exemption, which provides, “Individuals are not required to submit an exemption application to the Marketplace.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I used to think the education I received was great. When I was in school, I used to WIN academic competitions in American History and Civics.

Why was I lied to? Why wasn’t I told in high school (1987-91) that laws are made and changed by the Executive Branch at it’s own discretion, and that Congress was a purely ceremonial body like the Roman Senate was after Caesar?

I feel so violated!

ConstantineXI on May 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM

No proof necessary.

We’ll take your word for it.

BacaDog on May 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Official explanation of the O’care mandates: “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”

vnvet on May 3, 2014 at 1:08 PM

….laws…laws…laws…lets do amnesty reform…laws…laws…laws!

KOOLAID2 on May 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

We are a Banana Republic.

Corporal Tunnel on May 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

So how many exemptions are we up to now? 31? I saw a list awhile back that had 28 listed.

Anyone know where an updated list is?

BacaDog on May 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Anyone know where an updated list is?

BacaDog on May 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

We know where it’s not – ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, ………….!

pilsener on May 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

His Jugeared Majesty strikes again.

All hail The Royal Pen.

hillbillyjim on May 3, 2014 at 1:41 PM

lulsecdotorg

Murphy9 on May 3, 2014 at 1:46 PM

lulsecdotorg

Murphy9 on May 3, 2014 at 1:46 PM

…ok!…I didn’t sleep much last night?

KOOLAID2 on May 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Trainwreck….

sorrowen on May 3, 2014 at 1:56 PM

It’s not a law it’s a idea of a law….

sorrowen on May 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM

In other words, ignorance is a recognized hardship.

blammm on May 3, 2014 at 2:02 PM

His Jugeared Majesty strikes again.
All hail The Royal Pen.
hillbillyjim on May 3, 2014 at 1:41 PM
Wouldn’t it be odd if gov’s starting signing executive orders to ignore his executive orders lol. His mighty pen shows a laziness that’s amazing.

sorrowen on May 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

“At this point, what difference does it make?”

Oxymoron on May 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

They’ll delay it until circa 2017.

Btw, from Angola to Zimbabwe, only the USA has a mandate.

Adolf is so proud of you.

Schadenfreude on May 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

It’s. The. La– Wait. What is it today?

de rigueur on May 3, 2014 at 2:23 PM

ConstantineXI on May 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Actually, Congress like the Roman Senate isn’t purely ceremonial…they’re in on it. The Senators (and the more powerful members of the House and various governors and state legislators) are basically Mafia thugs with their own individual spheres of power. And the whole lot of them ultimately rule by the barrel of a gun….though increasingly the gun is less an less important…they can rule through the power of the Digital Age and the sheer weight of the State’s bureaucracy.

As long as at least a plurality of us have a decent place to live, plenty of food in our bellies, relative security against crime, shiny cars/trucks, and some spending money, we won’t cause any trouble. We’re basically gerbils living in one of those plastic habitat thingies, and we gladly run on the little wheels to keep things going for our master and the Proletariat masses who no longer have to be productive…because it’s our duty to do so.

We don’t believe in making waves and complaining-only hippies and Commies do that stuff. We believe in law and order and that God will right all wrongs…eventually.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Why was I lied to? Why wasn’t I told in high school (1987-91) that laws are made and changed by the Executive Branch at it’s own discretion, and that Congress was a purely ceremonial body like the Roman Senate was after Caesar?

To be fair, you probably graduated before Obama was immaculated.

Laura Castellano on May 3, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I have multiple issues with this stuff.

#1. Every delay dries up all that extra money in fines from everyone who does not buy insurance. The CBO and other people are continuing to count that money that is no longer there to offset the cost of Obama care, and not a single person is saying anything about it. Granted it isn’t a huge amount but it needs to be a factor every time HHS delays the mandate.

#2. Every delay encourages more and more people not to buy any health insurance because they know there will be another delay right around the corner and they will never be penalized for not buying it.

#3. My biggest issue with the continual delays is that Insurance Companies are not able to get a clear picture of where to put their premiums for 2015. The Fed never lets them get to a point where they can say “OK” we have the data we need. And I suspect HHS is doing the delays on purpose just to avoid that.

I think we will continue to see these delays through late summer in an attempt to avoid any rate shock in Insurance premiums prior to the November Election.

Johnnyreb on May 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

One big enabling act.

wolly4321 on May 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Meh. At this point it’s a given that Obamacare is failed policy and that the administration will do anything it can to try to keep it alive. Once we get closer to November the claws will come back out and we’ll see all sorts of fun.

HiJack on May 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM

The HHS guidance describes the new hardship exemption as necessary because, it claims, individuals may not have realized that they had to purchase insurance by March 31.

Yeah, there are people that are that freaking STUPID! The same LOW IQ, LOW INFO voter that brought this administration into power.

GarandFan on May 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

What law? It’s just a list of suggestions for which taxpayers will get hosed.

Philly on May 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

And why do we care? I know. Some people had no choice – Obiecare or nothing. But those that purposefully signed up – you’re on your own. To force socialism will fail every time.

TfromV on May 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Delay after delay. I was told so many times that “ITS THE LAW!”.

I also fail to see how the president can just change laws as he wishes. Why even have the other 2 branches then?

watertown on May 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

The HHS guidance describes the new hardship exemption as necessary because, it claims, individuals may not have realized that they had to purchase insurance by March 31.

Is this #15?

#14 is the exemption easiest to use:

>”You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.”

> “Please submit documentation if possible.”

Since everyone had trouble using the health care.gov website and it was totally inoperable for many months, all you should have to say is that you were ultimately unable to sign up to Obamacare because the website was so poorly constructed.

Anyone who pays the fine isn’t paying attention.

lynncgb on May 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Maybe they are deferring this so that they can get more people to sign up, so they can ultimately declare victory. Once the penalty goes into effect, there’s no incentive to sign up until next year, right? (I mean, you wouldn’t be able to, anyway)

furytrader on May 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Have any of our (D)s shown up to explain that post-Obamacare free riders are completely different from 2008′s free riders yet?
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/05/02/only-28-of-obamacare-enrollees-are-18-34/comment-page-1/#comment-8016686

rogerb on May 3, 2014 at 4:39 PM

This won’t be the last of the delays and or extensions through executive privilege. The law makes no difference

jaywemm on May 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Once I learned that Turbo Tax and possibly others, had the Obamacare sign up right up front and offered again at the end after the tax work was done, where that 8 million came from began to make sense. With Obamacare in the program, that last two week extension to the tax filing deadline, it becomes obvious why they did it. The announced signups at each million at closer and closer intervals seems to have matched the traditional increasing number of late filers who wait until the last minute. How believable is it that the web site handled 1 million in just two or three days at the end? How believable is it that 2/3 paid a week later? Checks don’t reach insurance companies that quickly and process even slower. A lot of people probably were curious or fear the consequences and clicked on the link. By design anyone who accesses the site must first enroll. It is well known that they count anyone who enrolled as a signup.

8 million is a lot of smoke.

Franklyn on May 3, 2014 at 5:56 PM

On Monday or Tuesday, the WH will come out with a statement with new ObamaCare enrolled. It will give the media a way to re-bury Benghazi and the IRS scandals.

djaymick on May 3, 2014 at 8:53 PM

The Rule of Law, extinguished by nothing more than Good Men Doing Nothing.
Farewell, we hardly knew ye!

Tard on May 3, 2014 at 9:41 PM