The Spokesman-Review editorial board never misses an opportunity to paint a positive picture of the Affordable Care Act. Its credibility would be enhanced if members dug below talking points occasionally. The ACA is like spring weather: Wait a week, and it will change.
In the latest rule shift, the individual mandate exemption issued by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in December 2013 for those who believe their new options are unaffordable and who wish to purchase simple catastrophic coverage has been extended through Oct. 1, 2016 by a CMS technical bulletin issued March 4, 2014.
Unfortunately, this exemption by purchasing catastrophic coverage is only available in selected large counties because Washington’s insurance commissioner has done nothing to protect rural counties from insurance monopolies and provide access to competitive markets. Catastrophic coverage is not available in Lincoln County.
Residents in Spokane and other large counties do not need to rush into buying unnecessary coverage in order to avoid a penalty. Be responsible, make sound arrangements for you and your family, buy just what you need, join a health care sharing ministry and be prepared to accept the consequences of your decisions. Don’t be bullied into buying blindly.
Sue Lani Madsen