On February 1, 2013, CMS and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published two proposed regulations to address the requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). By way of background, the ACA requires every individual to have basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or make a “shared responsibility” payment when filing a federal income tax return, beginning in 2014. Individuals do not have to make a shared responsibility payment if coverage is unaffordable, if they spend less than three consecutive months without coverage, or if they qualify for an exemption for reasons such as hardship, religious beliefs, or other statutorily-exempt category. The proposed regulations outline the circumstances under which these exemptions from shared responsibility payments would apply, along with the procedure by which individuals would receive certificates of exemption. In addition, the proposed regulations specify certain coverage that would be designated as minimum essential coverage, including the substantive and procedural requirements that other types of individual coverage must fulfill in order to be certified as minimum essential coverage. CMS will accept comments on its proposed rule until March 18, 2013. The IRS is accepting comments on its shared responsibility payments proposed regulations until May 2, 2013, and an IRS public hearing on the proposed regulations is scheduled for May 29, 2013.