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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

December 2010 Archives

Question: I just read the the the new health reform law is unconstitutional. What now?

Answer: Actually a federal judge in Virginia has ruled the individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate would require most Americans to get health insurance starting in 2014 and penalize those who do not. Admittedly, the mandate is a core part of the health reform bill. Many experts agree that without it the Affordable Care Act will be gutted. Two other federal district judges had previously ruled that the insurance mandate was constitutional. This issue will most probably conclude at the Supreme Court just as the 2012 election is cresting. Legal experts are divided on whether the Supreme Court is likely to void the law.

As a health insurance professional, I know this, If we're going to outlaw discrimination based on preexisting conditions, the only way to keep people from gaming the system and raising costs on everyone else is to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for their own health insurance. We actually have the examples of New York and New Jersey where this has been shown to be true.

The Exchange is Not Like the HIPC

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Question: The Health Insurance Plan of California (HIPC) was an exchange and it failed. What's different about the new exchange?

Question: I'm worried that the penalties for ignoring the health insurance mandate are too low - something like $100 for the first year - meaning many people will not buy until they need it. This situation is almost as bad as having no mandate at all, leading to costs and premium prices going through the roof.

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