Today, the Obama administration announced that people whose insurance plans were cancelled this year will “temporarily” be exempted from the individual mandate. Here’s how they’re doing it — and what it means for the law.
1. The individual mandate includes a “hardship exemption.” People who qualify can either ignore the individual mandate altogether or purchase a cheap, bare-bones catastrophic insurance plan that’s typically only available to people under age 30.
2. According to HHS, the exemption covers people who “experienced financial or domestic circumstances, including an unexpected natural or human-caused event, such that he or she had a significant, unexpected increase in essential expenses that prevented him or her from obtaining coverage under a qualified health plan.”
3. Today, the administration agreed with a group of senators, led by Mark Warner of Virginia, who argued that having your insurance plan canceled counted as “an unexpected natural or human-caused event.”