Consequences of Delaying the Individual Mandate

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Despite lower-than-expected premiums for plans in insurance exchanges, major technological issues with the website are frustrating consumers who are trying to compare and enroll in a health plan. As a result, some members of Congress have called for a one-year delay of the individual mandate to purchase health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. Thousands of Americans, however, have already successfully enrolled in plans through state-based exchanges, making such a delay unnecessary and harmful. Although the administration must continue to urgently repair the federally facilitated exchange website, a one-year delay of the mandate would undermine the success of state-based exchanges and harm millions of Americans, resulting in significantly more uninsured individuals and more costly premiums for consumers in plans both in and out of exchanges.

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