Buying Health Insurance No Longer A Year-Round Option
The Associated Press reports that those who purchase coverage directly from insurers must do it within open enrollment periods, unless they experience a life-changing event such as a move or a job change. Meanwhile, the Obama administration says that April 15 will be the last date for most people to enroll in private plans through the federal exchange serving 36 states. And the Washington Post's fact checker looks at the Congressional Budget Office's enrollment projections.
The Associated Press: Health Insurance Isn’t A Year-Round Thing Anymore
Here’s more fallout from the health care law: Until now, customers could walk into an insurance office or go online to buy standard health care coverage any time of year. Not anymore. Many people who didn’t sign up during the government’s open enrollment period that ended Monday will soon find it difficult or impossible to get insured this year, even if they go directly to a private company and money is no object. For some it’s already too late (4/4).
Politico: April 15 Mixes Tax, Obamacare Deadlines
April 15 will be the last day for most people to enroll in Obamacare exchanges for health coverage during 2014. Although the official deadline was midnight Monday, the Obama administration had offered anyone who started an application by then the chance to continue enrolling — but not until Thursday did it give a hard deadline for this grace period (Cheney, 4/3).
Fox News: White House Sets New April 15 Deadline For ObamaCare Sign Ups
The White House announced Thursday that April 15 will be the new deadline to sign up for ObamaCare. The two-week extension came after a series of technical glitches earlier in the week prevented people from filing new online applications. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 100,000 people were using the system on March 31 – the previous deadline to sign up for President Obama’s signature health care law. "For those in line on the 31st, we encourage consumers to finish the process as soon as possible," Alicia Hartinger, spokeswoman at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in an e-mail to members of the media. "They must complete their enrollment by no later than the 15th for coverage this year” (4/3).
The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Why Would A Person Sign Up For Obamacare But Not Pay The Premium?
By now, you’ve probably heard that 7.1 million people have signed up for coverage in Obamacare’s health insurance marketplaces. That doesn’t tell us the actual enrollment number, though, because people need to pay their premium to officially get coverage. There are a few numbers out there about how many have actually paid their premium. It’s generally either 80 percent, 85 percent or 90 percent of those signing up (Millman, 4/3).
The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: CBO’s Obamacare Estimate: It’s More Complicated Than You Think
With all of the hoopla this week about the administration achieving 7 million sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges, we wanted to offer a technical note about the source of that goal — the estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that 7 million people would be enrolled in the exchanges. After healthcare.gov’s troubled start, CBO then reduced the estimate to 6 million (Kessler, 4/4).
Meanwhile, the Fiscal Times looks ahead to the next health law challenges -
The Fiscal Times: Obamacare’s Next Challenge: IRS Verification
Now that the open enrollment period has come to a close, the next challenge for Obamacare lies with the cash-strapped Internal Revenue Service, which is tasked with enforcing a handful of new provisions under the president’s healthcare law—including issuing penalties to Americans without health insurance. The agency is also responsible for verifying the subsidy eligibility of more than 83 percent of the 7 million people who have signed up for insurance through the health exchanges. Given the new burden, many are wondering if the agency can handle the additional load especially since the agency has had little success in closing the country’s $385 billion tax gap (last measured in 2006). That gap includes non-payments, underpayments and downright fraud (Ehley, 4/3).