New flexibility in Affordable Care rules offer hardship solution - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New flexibility in Affordable Care rules offer hardship solutions

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New deadlines and options could affect you if you are still shopping around for health coverage. (Source: MGN) New deadlines and options could affect you if you are still shopping around for health coverage. (Source: MGN)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Was your insurance policy canceled due to the Affordable Care Act? If so, there are new deadlines you need to know about.

The Obama administration actually relaxed the rules a bit Thursday night, extending some deadlines for the millions of people whose insurance plans had been suddenly declared illegal by Obamacare.

Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it is changing the rules for people who had an insurance plan banned by the ACA. Those people will now be allowed to claim a hardship exemption, if they believe the marketplace health plans are more expensive than what they had before.

The exemptions essentially allow people to escape the requirement that they must have insurance by Jan. 1 or be hit with a fine. If they can't afford a plan that complies with all the ACA requirements, they will instead be allowed to purchase bare bones ‘catastrophic coverage.'

If you do have a new insurance plan, the Dec. 31 deadline to pay your first month's premiums may change. Many insurance companies voluntarily decided to push that deadline to Jan. 10. However, not all issuers are extending that deadline; some may still require you to pay on or before Dec. 31. Check with your insurance company to confirm the due date.

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