ACA developer wishes for 'stronger' individual mandate

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One of the ACA's key advisers said penalties devised in the health law may be insufficient as a motivator for individuals to buy coverage, The Hill reports.

Jonathan Gruber told CNN in an interview Wednesday that "the most important thing experts would agree is we need a larger mandate penalty," and he "wish[es] the mandate penalty was stronger."

Under the ACA, uninsured individuals are subject to a penalty representing 2.5 percent of their taxable income or $695, depending on which is higher. When leveled with the annual cost in premiums, the choice is often muddled.

For a 27-year-old earning about $24,000 annually — or 200 percent of the federal poverty line — a low-cost silver exchange plan would cost $1,523 in premiums a year, according to Avalere

An estimated 1 million fewer individuals than expected have enrolled in ACA marketplace insurance, resulting in a lack of healthy, young individuals who are needed to balance the risk of sicker populations, according to the report. 

More articles about payer issues:
6 statistics about the off-exchange individual insurance market
Errors surface on Illinois online ACA marketplace
Highmark cuts agent commissions for ACA exchange plans

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