The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's health-insurance exchanges have gotten under way, but things haven't gone as smoothly as many had hoped. Because of problems with the public getting access to exchange websites to apply for coverage, the Obama administration is considering delaying the implementation of penalties for not having qualify health insurance in place by March 31.
In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, discusses the possible delay in implementing Obamacare penalties. He notes that the Affordable Care Act allows people to have up to three months without coverage before penalties are imposed, and so one administration proposal would treat anyone who applied by March 31 as having satisfied the requirement even if the application process takes longer to implement. More importantly, though, Dan points out that the penalties set to take effect -- $95 or 1% of net income above the tax-filing threshold, whichever is greater -- are small enough not to make the delay a very big deal.
Dan concludes with a discussion of the eventual long-term effects of the difficulties in getting Obamacare up and running. Despite all the discussion of problems, several states have done a good job of getting their exchanges going. Xerox (NYSE:XRX) and Maximus (NYSE:MMS) have fared much better than their peers CGI Group and Quality Software Systems, and they could benefit from exchange success going forward. IT consultants IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) can also expect to continue playing vital role. As Dan sees it, in the long run, worrying about whether a $95 penalty was or wasn't imposed will pale in significance to the overall impact of Obamacare.