On August 27, 2013 the Internal Revenue Services issued the final rules for the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate is a requirement that all individuals carry some minimum health insurance for themselves and their dependents or they pay a tax. If you are on an employer-sponsored plan that does not have dependent coverage available you will be required to go out and purchase coverage for the dependents.
The individual mandate is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2014 and states that individuals who choose not to enroll in a health insurance program will have to pay a penalty. The penalty starts at $95 per person per year or 1 percent of income in 2014, whichever is larger. The penalty will gradually increase in 2015 to $325, or 2 percent of income and in 2016 to $695, or 2.5% of income, whichever is bigger.
For individuals that aren’t offered health insurance through an employer-sponsored plan the Insurance Marketplace begins enrollment in October 2013 and coverage will begin January 2014. The Oregon marketplace can be found at www.coveroregon.com.
Backers of the Affordable Care Act believe that the individual mandate is essential to ensure enough individuals are enrolled in the system to allow the online marketplaces to function.
We will continue to monitor the Affordable Care Act and provide updates as necessary.