How Will ACA Individual Mandate Repeal Affect Insurance Enrollment?

The future affordability of health insurance coverage remains a concern for many Americans.

The majority of people with non-group health insurance will continue to purchase coverage despite the repeal of the individual mandate and express worry over future availability and price of health coverage, according to a health tracking poll from Kaiser Family Foundation.

In December 2017, the Republican tax reform plan signed into law included the elimination of the individual mandate, the part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that required Americans to have health insurance, beginning in 2019. According to the poll, only 19% of non-group enrollees and 11% of the uninsured are aware that the penalty had been repealed but is still in effect for 2018; however, 9 in 10 said they intend to continue to buy their own insurance despite the repeal. Non-group enrollees are defined as people who have purchased health insurance themselves, whether through the ACA marketplace (marketplace enrollees) or outside of the ACA markets.

When it comes to reasons for purchasing insurance, the majority of non-group enrollees indicated that the individual mandate was not the leading factor, with 66% saying it was either not a reason or a minor reason, compared with 34% saying it was a major reason. Instead, they reported the major reasons for purchasing insurance were protecting against high medical bills (75%) and peace of mind (66%).

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