Janiva's Blog — Questions about the 2014 Individual Mandate

Janiva Toler

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act, many of you are either trying to remember how the law affects you, or you may be thinking about it for the first time. In particular, you may have questions about the “individual mandate,” which includes a penalty for those who don’t have health care insurance, and you may be wondering if there are exemptions for Christian Scientists.

One frequently asked Question:

Is there an opt-out for Christian Scientists under the federal health care reform legislation such as they have in Massachusetts?

Answer:  Under the Massachusetts insurance mandate, Christian Scientists are allowed to opt out on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs. At present there is no such provision in the federal health care reform legislation that takes effect in 2014.

While Christian Scientists are not exempt on religious grounds, it appears that those who meet certain criteria will not be required to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty for not doing so, including:

  • Individuals aged 65 and over enrolled in Medicare Part A
  • Medicaid recipients
  • Members of the Armed Forces and their dependents
  • Military retirees

If you’re interested in hearing the most up-to-date information on this subject, join the live webcast from the Committee on Publication Federal Office on July 12th at 7:30 p.m. Live Town Hall Audio Chat on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Health Care Law. You can submit questions as well until July 10th.

And for more answers check out the Committee’s Health Care FAQs.

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