Why does ACA's coverage requirement start in January?
Matthew Martin 4/28/2016 10:00:00 AM
I get worried when our behavioral nudges require this much foresight and planning. This isn't a one-time start up issue. People are constantly dropping in and out of other kinds of coverage so every year you have a new batch of people who previously had insurance through their employer, for example, discovering for the first time that they need to buy individual coverage to comply with the law.
It doesn't have to be this way. Why not just make the coverage requirement period start in May and end the following April? That way people could sign up for coverage immediately upon discovering they owe a penalty for not doing so, thus sparing them from having a second year of penalties. I strongly suspect this would dramatically increase uptake on the exchanges, resulting in a healthier risk pool and decreasing insurance premiums for everyone.