ACA Facts: Individual Responsibility (Mandate) Provision

January 30, 2013

Individual Responsibility (Mandate) Provision

Starting in 2014, the ACA will require most people to enroll in a health insurance plan that meets basic minimum standards. Those who choose not to enroll after that date could be subject to a financial penalty. The ACA provides automatic exceptions to the requirement to obtain coverage for individuals who have very low incomes, or for other reasons, including religious beliefs. Further, if an individual does not qualify automatically for an exception, they can apply for a waiver asking not to pay the charge. The Individual Mandate (as it's more commonly referred to) was one of the three controversial provisions of the ACA that came before the U.S. Supreme Court in late March. Its opponents argue that a requirement to purchase insurance is unconstitutional, while supporters maintain that it is an acceptable exercise of Congress's power to regulate commerce. To learn more about the legal challenges surrounding this provision, as well as listen to and read the oral arguments before the Court, please visit the legislative and legal challenges section of AUCD's Health Reform Hub.