Regulations on individual mandate expected soon

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But there are exceptions: people who don't make enough money to pay taxes are not subject to the mandate, and there are religious exemptions as well. Those who would have to spend more than 8 percent of their income on health insurance are also exempt.

Those exemptions are part of the reason some policy analysts think the mandate is too weak — that it won't be effective at getting young, healthy people into the insurance system, to offset the costs of covering older, sicker patients.

A notice posted on OMB's website says the pending regulation will deal with the process for verifying whether taxpayers are able to buy employer-based healthcare and determining whether they're eligible for federal subsidies to help buy private insurance.