The individual mandate provision of the health care reform law would not affect the vast majority of Americans, according to a new Urban Institute analysis
The analysis, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, used data on current insurance status, Medicaid eligibility, subsidies available to purchase insurance coverage through the exchanges, and the total number of people who currently have health coverage. It found just 6 percent of the total U.S. population would be subject to penalties for not buying health insurance in 2014.
“The analysis shows that while a small number of people would be directly affected by the individual responsibility requirement, the overall benefit to the population would be large,” said Linda J. Blumberg, lead analyst of the Urban Institute, in a statement. “Insurance markets would be more stable and premiums for insurance that people buy themselves would be 10 percent to 20 percent lower than without a mandate.”
The study found 33 percent of the population under age 65 would be exempt from the individual mandate
because their incomes would fall below the tax-filing threshold. Of the individuals with income above the threshold, 58 percent already have coverage through an employer, the individual mandate or public programs.
A total of 3 percent of the population under age 65 are who are uninsured would be eligible for Medicaid, and four percent would be eligible for subsidies to purchase coverage.