Recently, both houses of Congress passed a tax reform bill, which eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate for health insurance. You’re probably wondering, “What does the 2019 individual mandate repeal mean for me?” While it doesn’t go into effect until next year, there are still a few things you need to know.
At the moment, it is extremely difficult to tell how this will affect Nevadans since Nevada Health Link only has data regarding the penalty from 2014 and 2015. However, the fee was set at a lower number in those years and it is difficult to conduct a statewide assessment of that population.
One thing we do know, though, is that premiums will increase and enrollment numbers will likely decline. Rural areas will experience higher premiums and fewer coverage options, in addition to potentially becoming bare counties.
Furthermore, younger demographics who are healthy are less likely to enroll if they feel as though they don’t need health insurance due to the 2019 individual mandate repeal. We strongly urge Nevadans to stay covered, because you never know when you will need health insurance.
“The Individual Mandate, or the tax penalty imposed on individuals who cannot demonstrate coverage, is currently the only existing incentive to drive people into the market. Without it, we will likely see further destabilization of an already fragile market. Eliminating the mandate without enacting reform to balance the risk pool will likely result in premium increases, and potentially carrier exits,” said Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Executive Director Heather Korbulic.
While you no longer need health insurance to avoid a tax penalty, you still need it for peace of mind regarding your future. You never know when you are one medical disaster away from financial ruin. You simply can’t afford to not be insured. If you missed open enrollment and you’re not currently enrolled in health insurance, certain qualifying life events (QLE) may make you eligible for a special enrollment period. QLE’s are life-changing events such as job loss, income change, marriage/divorce and birth/adoption of a child to name a few. Nevada Health Link can connect contact a certified broker to see if you qualify for special enrollment.
If you have any more questions about what the 2019 individual mandate repeal means for you or about special enrollment, please contact us at customerserviceNVHL@exchange.nv.gov. As always, Nevada Health Link is your number one resource for health insurance information.