Options set for those lacking new health coverage

by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

People whose existing health care insurance has been canceled because of the Affordable Care Act will not be hit with tax penalties for failing to line up new coverage as required under the law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she will use authorities in the law to issue a "temporary hardship exemption" from those penalties.

Under another stopgap option Sebelius announced Thursday, those whose plans were canceled will be able to buy a bare-bones catastrophic plan regardless of their age. Such plans had been intended for those under 30.

A hotline for people who got cancellations is being set up by Health and Human Services as part of the effort to head off more bad news coming from the chaotic rollout of the .

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