State Efforts to Pass Individual Mandate Requirements Aim to Stabilize Markets and Protect Consumers

By Dania Palanker, Rachel Schwab, and Justin Giovannelli

A handful of states are moving forward with plans to implement state-level individual health insurance mandates in light of Congress’s recent elimination of the federal mandate’s financial penalty, effective in 2019. The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate helped stabilize the insurance market when the ACA’s coverage expansions launched by encouraging healthier people to buy plans. The penalty repeal, in combination with other federal actions, is projected to reduce coverage by about 8.6 million people and increase premiums.

Previously, only Massachusetts had such a requirement in place. Recently, New Jersey passed a state-level mandate that takes effect in 2019, and Vermont passed one that will take effect in 2020, after the issue is studied further. The District of Columbia also has a bill pending that will establish a coverage requirement and penalty.

In their latest post for The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts analyze the new individual mandate laws and highlight some of the innovative models that were proposed in states and may be considered next legislative session. To read their findings, read the full post here.

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