The Obama administration will not require the millions of Americans who received health-insurance plan cancellation notices to purchase a new policy next year.
They're granting those consumers an exemption from the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, a Department of Heath and Human Services spokeswoman confirmed. The mandate requires everyone to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.
The administration will also allow those consumers to sign up for catastrophic coverage. Those bare-bones plans are available to people who are under 30 or qualify for a "hardship exemption."
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., that the administration is granting a "hardship exemption" to Americans whose plans were canceled and "might be having difficulty" paying for standard coverage.