Mark down March 31, 2014 on your calendar. Unless there is a further delay, this is the very last day that you can purchase health insurance on a health care exchange or incur a penalty of $95 or 1% of their income (the individual mandate).

Speaking of delays, last week the President announced a directive, delaying in the implementation of a key provision of the health care law, allowing insurers to continue offering plans that do not meet the stringent minimum coverage requirements, thereby allowing people to keep their existing plans. As a reminder, health plans were required to offer 10 essential medical benefits in order for a plan to be acceptable, including, prescription drug coverage, maternity and pediatric care.

This one-year delay pushes the compliance date for the insurers past the 2014 midterm elections. However, insurance companies must provide at least 90 days’ notice before canceling the insurance plans, which will bring the notice arrival date very close to Election Day. It is worth noting that it was the voluminous cancelation notices previously sent out that prompted the administration to delay this measure in the first place. Despite the delay for the insurers, it’s curious why there hasn’t been a delay for the individual mandate. In addition, how could the minimum standards be essential next year and not this year, it doesn’t seem to add up.

In better news for the President, it was just reported that 5 million people have now signed up for health insurance via the exchanges, which is 2 million shy of the original projections, but within striking range of the deadline.


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  • Michael LaMagna, LNHA, MPA, JD concentrates in the areas of Medicaid and Advanced Asset Protection Planning, Elder Law, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Probate Litigation, Guardianships, Health Care Regulatory Matters, Nursing Home Placement, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Appeals, Social Security/SSI Litigation and Special Needs Law. If you have a question for Mr. LaMagna, please call him at (914) 437-5955.