You may have remembered a few months back I told you why the mandate is actually cheaper than buying health insurance, but not smarter. That still holds true regardless of when they decide to enforce it.
Actually, according to The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff this isn't a delay at all, rather a tweak that simply aligns the mandate with the end of open enrollment. As the language of when the mandate was to be enforced was cloudier than a late October day in Ohio.
Here's the Deal
You can nickel and dime the system and wait until the 25th hour to buy health insurance to avoid the penalty, but if you are looking to make a smart insurance decision, you will have this taken care of by the first of the year.
You see, health insurance deductibles run on a calendar year schedule. Meaning it doesn't matter when you bought the policy, your deductible will reset after December 31. In an attempt to make things as easy on yourself as possible, you will want to do everything you can to line up your effective date with the start of the new year.
That means applying for coverage before December 15, 2013.
Let's Be Honest
If I can shoot straight with you for a second, this entire development is really a non issue in my opinion. You are either going to buy health insurance to avoid the serious financial disasters it protects you from, or you won't.
It's that simple.
If you are a younger, generally healthy person, you probably have the most to gain by skipping out on health insurance in 2014. You are exactly the person they need to make this whole thing work in the long run.
On the other hand, if a month or two from now we are still unable to get you signed up for health insurance, due to the overwhelming technical difficulties and lackluster service from the government run website, well then that's a different story.
The government can't very well penalize you for not buying something they are unable to sell you. Well, they probably could, but that would just be mean.
The Bottom Line
You are either going to qualify for a subsidy inside Ohio's health insurance marketplace or your not. You either have a pre-existing condition or you don't. And at some point next year you will face a financial penalty for not having proper coverage.
If you are young and healthy and don't qualify for much of a subsidy, than you are going to want to get yourself a non Obamacare health insurance policy right now.
If you have a pre-exisiting condition, January 1st can't get here soon enough with or without a subsidy.
If you are somewhere in the middle and qualify for a decent subsidy the cost of your health insurance will probably be so affordable you would be foolish not to pay that small amount for a ton of coverage and avoid the mandate.
Every single one of those scenarios ends with you acting as soon as you can to make the smartest, most financially sound health insurance decision for you and/or your family in 2014, and all well before March 31.
You Tell Me?
I have one simple question for you, when will you be buying health insurance to avoid the penalty?