New Hampshire lawmakers may have missed the mark when they tried to keep Congress from regulating individual ownership of health insurance in their state.
Officials at the New Hampshire Insurance Department deal with that issue in one answer to a batch of ansers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) posted on the department website.
Department officials developed the document to analyze how the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) might affect New Hampshire.
Many debating PPACA were proceeding on the understanding that a section of PPACA will require many individuals to own a minimum level of health coverage starting in 2014 or else pay a penalty.
The court held that Congress has no authority to require individuals to buy a minimum level of health coverage but does have the authority to impose a tax on individuals who fail to own a minimum level of health coverage, and that the individual health insurance ownership section of PPACA will, in reality, impose a tax on some people who are uninsured, not a true individual health insurance ownership mandate.”
New Hampshire lawmakers earlier passed a law stating that, “No resident of this state … shall be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage except as required by a court or the department of health and human services where an individual is named a party in a judicial or administrative proceeding.”