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The Wake of Individual Mandate Repeal

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, on December 22, 2017, included a “repeal” of the individual mandate, that laid wake to concerns related to the stability of the individual market.

(Actually, the mandate was not repealed, but rather the penalty was set to $0 for 2019 and future years. For purposes of this Associated Release we will refer to the act as a repeal)

As a result of the repeal there is uncertainty as to the material impact on enrollments and premium rates. Estimates indicate a decrease in current enrollment of nearly 13 million nationwide for 2019 as many younger, healthier people may opt to take the risk of being uninsured as they did pre-ACA.

Fast forward to present time with 2019 around the corner, States are scrambling to safeguard a number of ACA provisions to keep premiums more manageable for those who need it the most.

Lawmakers in nine states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia are considering State laws requiring their residents to buy health insurance.

Most of the 9 states, so far, are proposing mandate efforts to mirror the federal mandate insurance requirement to ease administrative burdens and complexities because regulators already have had five years of experience enforcing it.

Other states, such as Maryland, are putting in their own twist to apply the tax penalty towards an individual’s future insurance policy purchase. New Jersey’s approach would collect a fee from state residents for those that opted not to buy health insurance and use those fines towards the payment of health care claims of catastrophically ill residents.

Cost of medical health insurance is still on the rise and in one state an individual medical plan is averaging $780 per month. Click on the interactive US Map below to find out your state’s average individual medical premium cost, as reported for the 2017 calendar year.

Information contained in this Associate Release is not intended to render tax or legal advice. Employers should consult with qualified legal and/or tax counsel for guidance with respect to matters of law, tax and related regulations. AJM Associates, Inc. provides comprehensive benefits advice and administrative services with respect to all forms of employee benefits, individual insurance, Medicare, and ancillary coverage services. For additional information about our services, please contact us at

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