KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Administration Delays 2015 Individual Plan Rate Requirements

The change is designed to give insurers more time to compute the costs of individuals who come in late during the plan's first year -- which might avoid higher premiums and steer clear of the 2014 elections.

Bloomberg: Insurers To Get Extra Month To Set 2015 Obamacare Rates
The enrollment period, previously scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2014, will now start Nov. 15, said an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The change is important to insurers that need more time to evaluate the first year of the government-run marketplaces (Wayne and Nussbaum, 11/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration To Push Back Health-Insurance Enrollment For 2015
The Obama administration is planning to push back the period during which Americans sign up for coverage under the new health law in its second year of operation, a change that could reassure insurers while also avoiding the 2014 midterm elections. ... People will have until Jan. 15, 2015, rather than Dec. 7, 2014, to complete the process (Radnofsky, 11/22).

Politico: HHS To Delay 2015 Obamacare Enrollment By A Month
The date change, first reported by Bloomberg, also lengthens the enrollment period by a week. Doing so would give companies more opportunity to account for individuals, particularly young adults, who come in late during the plan’s first year, which has gotten off to a rocky start. The goal is premiums that more accurately reflect costs for those insured (Levine, 11/21). 

CNN: Obamacare Signup Delayed – For 2015 
The Department of Health and Human Services wants to give insurers, consumers and engineers more time to avoid the first go-round's site crashes, coverage train wrecks and cost surprises. ... The change will not affect this coverage year, which begins January 1, 2014 (Bohn and Brumfield, 11/22).

In related news -

CQ HealthBeat: Insurers That Renew Cancelled Policies Told How They Must Notify Consumers
Insurance companies that extend policies that otherwise would be cancelled next year under the health law must send consumers a letter with wording by the Obama administration that outlines eight ways their existing coverage is inferior to new plans in the marketplaces. Federal officials released a memo on the subject Thursday (Adams, 11/21).

The New York Times: U.S. Unveils Letters Insurers Must Send About Health Plans
he letters are blunt, declaring that the insurance that is about to be renewed "will NOT provide all of the rights and protections of the health care law." Renewal letters sent by insurance companies will have to list all the deficiencies in the policy (Shear, 11/21).




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