Does the Individual Mandate Mean I Must Buy Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Last updated: March 30, 2016

No

You can buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This would satisfy the individual mandate. However, you don’t have to. There are other forms of health coverage that satisfy the requirement to have “minimum essential coverage”. This includes:

  • Most employer-sponsored plans

  • Union plans

  • Enrollment in a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or CHIP

  • They can also continue to use agents to buy insurance available in the market outside the exchange.

Some health plans don’t meet the requirement of minimum essential coverage and don’t satisfy the individual mandate requirement to have basic health care coverage.

  • These are plans that cover only specific or ancillary services (for example, hearing, chiropractic, etc).

Check the website www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/fee-for-not-being-covered/ for more information.

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