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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.


Can the ACA Survive Without the Individual Mandate?

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Question: It seems to me there's a pretty good chance the law that every American must have health insurance or pay a penalty will be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Will that kill the rest of the health reform law?

Answer: No. The ACA would not collapse if the individual mandate was removed. Without an individual mandate, but with a requirement that health insurance companies accept all applicants for coverage, premiums will rise substantially. As is the case in New York and New Jersey where individual health insurance premiums are twice what they are in California. The ACA is much more than the individual mandate. The law creates exchanges, enables co-ops, imposes limits on carriers' administrative expenses, establishes market reforms (such as requiring carriers to keep dependent children on their parent's policies until age 26), changes rating practices (eliminating premium variations based on gender), creates new taxes, provides for premium subsidies, launches demonstration projects in an attempt to lower medical costs, expands Medicaid, reduces out-of-pocket expenses for some Medicare beneficiaries, and a whole lot more.

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