On December 18, 2019, a federal appeals court ruled in Texas v. Azar that the individual mandate established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be deemed unconstitutional. This decision was based on the lawsuit filed in 2018 in the lower courts by 18 states declaring that since the individual mandate penalty was eliminated, the ACA individual mandate should no longer apply. The federal appeals court agreed with the lower court’s ruling and has sent the decision back to the lower courts to determine next steps and if the individual mandate provision can be removed from the ACA completely.
There is no official decision on how the lower courts plan to address this, nor is there an estimated timeframe as to when a decision will be made. It is anticipated that the federal appeals court’s ruling will be appealed in the Supreme Court.
Until a final ruling is issued, the individual mandate and court rulings are final. Thus, there are no immediate changes to the ACA law. Cowden will continue to provide updates on this development as more information becomes available.