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Friday, December 20, 2013

Critics Take Aim As More Health Law Rules Relaxed

(J. David Ake/AP)

People whose health insurance policies were canceled under the new health law will now be able to claim a “hardship exemption” and avoid tax penalties. (J. David Ake/AP)

Insurers are criticizing a surprise move last night by the Obama administration to relax rules for people whose health insurance policies were canceled. Those people have struggled to find new plans before the Jan. 1 deadline to be insured or be fined under the Affordable Care Act.

Those people will now temporarily be able to claim a “hardship exemption,” and — regardless of their age — they have the choice of buying bare-bones catastrophic coverage health plans, or they can choose to remain uninsured without being fined.

A dedicated hotline for people who got cancellations, 1-866-837-0677, is being set up by the Health and Human Services Department.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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