The Trump administration issued new guidance Wednesday that makes it easier for Americans to opt out of having health insurance this year and not be penalized via the individual mandate.
The tax cuts law that was passed in December 2017 got rid of the individual mandate starting in 2019. For this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will allow people to claim a "hardship exemption" on their 2018 tax returns and avoid paying the penalty for not having insurance — without having to provide documentation.
"Today's announcement shows how President Trump's administration is working to ease the burden of Obamacare," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said. "Although the tax cuts signed by the president earlier this year eliminate the mandate penalty starting in 2019, Americans are still under threat of the penalty for this tax year of 2018. This guidance will simplify how consumers claim the hardship exemption from the individual mandate directly on their tax return."
The 2010 Affordable Care Act included a stipulation that all Americans need to have health insurance or face a penalty on their tax returns of roughly $1,000 per year. The new policy announced Wednesday gives people the ability to get out of paying that fine "if they experience certain circumstances that prevent them from obtaining coverage, such as homelessness or [if they] experience a fire, flood, or other natural disaster," the CMS release reads.
No supporting evidence of the hardship is needed in order to use it.
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