Washington, DC, is among the states that began considering implementing individual responsibility mandates to require citizens to purchase health insurance after the Affordable Care Act’s mandate was terminated by the Tax Act of 2017 signed into law last month. In his role as an executive board member for the District of Columbia’s health insurance exchange, Milken Institute School of Public Health Professor Leighton Ku is chairing a working group examining how DC should respond to the mandate’s termination, which takes effect in 2019.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that terminating the individual mandate would cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage. Responding to a request by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the working group, which has examined responses to recent federal policy changes, will reconvene to make recommendations on actions that the District could consider.
Massachusetts is currently the only state with an individual mandate. States including Maryland, California and others are also considering developing state-level policies requiring health insurance coverage.