The employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been delayed by a year, but the individual mandate still stands as law. The individual mandate portion of the ACA states that uninsured individuals must have insurance by January 1, 2014 or face penalties (most likely 1% of family income). The uninsured will be eligible for federal subsidies of up to $5,000 depending on income to purchase insurance on healthcare exchanges. Those in the very low income brackets could qualify for Medicaid.
House Republicans are pushing for an individual mandate delay, but won’t likely get very far when it comes to overturning this portion of the law. Most major physician groups stand behind the Obamacare individual mandate because requiring everyone to have insurance lowers healthcare costs for all.
The employer mandate delay leaves about a million people to find insurance coverage to meet ACA requirements, according to the Urban Institute. A source at the Urban Institute noted that the point of the employer mandate was to make sure that employers offered coverage rather than forcing employees into the state-run insurance exchanges, but that’s pretty much the case due to the delay.