The Individual Mandate Overview
The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health coverage that meets minimum essential coverage (MEC) standards. This is also known as the health insurance mandate. Individuals that do not have health coverage may have to pay a tax penalty or a “shared responsibility payment.” However, individuals without coverage may not have to pay a penalty if they apply and qualify for an exemption. Exemptions are granted by the Marketplace or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the tax filing process.
On October 2, 2014, Indian Health Service Acting Director Dr. Roubideaux sent out a letter to Tribal Leaders about the requirements of the Affordable Care Act Individual Mandate for all Americans and individuals that are eligible for Indian Health Service, to have health insurance that meets minimum essential coverage by the end of 2014. Included in that letter was a diagram to illustrate how to meet ACA requirements or pay a penalty when filing taxes for not having minimum essential coverage.