Individual Mandate Costs Explained

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , April 4, 2012

Scenario 1: Individual Mandate Upheld
According to an Urban Institute analysis, about 8% of the total population, or 26.3 million uninsured Americans will be required to get health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. With the individual mandate in place, here's how the study breaks that number down:


  • About 8.1 million will be eligible for free or close to free health insurance through Medicaid or CHIP and can avoid mandate penalties if they exercise those options.
  • Another 10.9 million will be eligible to purchase subsidized nongroup coverage through health insurance exchanges (HIX) to meet the coverage requirements.
  • That leaves only 7.3 million or 3% of the total population that will be required to purchase insurance, but would not qualify for Medicaid or any subsidies under the ACA.

The catch is that is that although only a relatively small number would be affected by keeping the individual mandate requirement, "the overall benefit to the population would be large," explained the Urban Institute's Linda J. Blumberg in a press statement.

"Insurance markets would be more stable and the premiums for insurance that people buy themselves would be 10% to 20% lower than without a mandate."

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4 comments on "Individual Mandate Costs Explained"

Chris 2 (4/5/2012 at 12:00 PM)
According to Kaiser, the US spends (Federal State and Local) about at 2.6 Trillion dollars in health costs in 2010. So with out the Individual Mandate, the spending will increase 10 Billion dollars, which is less than a half percent.

Kelly (4/4/2012 at 2:08 PM)
Exactly. The decion isn'trydrag about if its a good idea. By the way, where does the government get the money to pay the subsidies and all those folks flocking to Medicaid? Funny how she glossed right over that.

Todd (4/4/2012 at 12:43 PM)
Everyone's opinion of the individual mandate and whether or not it is good social policy has no bearing on what the supreme court must decide. The court must rule on whether the law is constitutional or not.




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