With Obamacare open enrollment set to end Dec. 15 and sign-ups poised to lag by as many as 1 million fewer enrollees than last year, Democratic congressional leaders are calling on the Trump administration to extend the sign-up period.
Open enrollment for the 2018 Affordable Care Act exchanges is only six weeks, from Nov. 1-Dec. 15, about half the amount of time in prior years. On top of that, major changes made by the Trump administration—such as cutting funding for outreach—are making it challenging to get as many people signed up this year as in prior years.
“This year, steps taken by the Administration have changed the coverage landscape dramatically, making it more likely that consumers are automatically re-enrolled in plans that differ from their previous year's coverage,” Senate Finance Committee ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in a letter to acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.
“By cutting Open Enrollment to just six weeks, HHS has left consumers with less time to shop for coverage, sign up for plans, and obtain needed financial assistance, all of which may result in substantially fewer people with coverage,” the senators said.
House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) also called on the Trump administration to extend open enrollment through January 2018.
The Department of Health and Human Services says the adjusted length and timing for 2018 aligns more closely with Medicare and job-based insurance, and it noted that the Obama administration in 2016 finalized a rule setting the open enrollment period from Nov. 1-Dec. 15 for 2019 and beyond.
“Consistent with our aim to have a seamless open enrollment experience for consumers this year, the website is performing well and consumers can easily access enrollment tools to compare plans and prices,” a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson told me in an email. The federal HealthCare.gov exchange site was largely dysfunctional at launch in 2013 during the first several months of the sign-up period.
From Nov. 1 through Dec. 9, 2017, nearly 4.7 million plans were selected for 2018 coverage in the 39 states using HealthCare.gov, the HHS announced. That includes 1.4 million new consumers and 3.3 million consumers renewing coverage. About 12.2 million people signed up during open enrollment for 2017, and about 10.1 million had effectuated their coverage by paying their premiums through June 2017, the HHS said.
Read my full article here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation, and learn more, by signing up for a free trial to Bloomberg Law.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)