Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sorting Out Healthcare. Gov Deadlines

People who like this sort of thing will find this sort of thing they like.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

I’ve been sorting through all sorts of news on what sort of people are enrolling in health exchanges in this 2nd launch (November 15 to February 15).

It’s all sort of confusing, which is sort of expected, since the time of 2nd enrollment is only 3 months , occurs at the peak of the holiday season, and takes place in the midst of changing over to a new Republican dominated Congress.

The deadline for re-enrollment was supposed to be December 15, but by December 5, only 720,000 had enrolled. Due to that slow start and the sudden surge just before December 15, a number of states – Idaho, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts , Minnesota, Rhode Island , and Washington – have delayed the December 15 deadline to December 19 to December 23.

The federal and state governments and the insurance industry agree on the delays for different reasons. The federal and state exchanges want to maximize credibility to offset GOP attacks on ObamaCare, and the insurers want to gain the greatest market share of the new exchange plans. So a new found symbiosis is taking place between government and private sectors.

The government is saying things are going swimmingly with 2.5 million enrollments, well on the path to expand the enrollment base from 6.7 million to 9.1 million. But critics say government is ill-prepared for the enrollment surge, as consumers endure longer waiting times as they try to unlock last year’s accounts , reset passwords, and prove their eligibility, both for exchange plans and Medicaid.

It’s all sort of confounding, with different key strokes for different folks and different sorts of information flowing from federal and state exchanges. About half those signing up are new customers. The other half are renewing customers. The old customers who miss old or new deadlines will automatically be enrolled by the January 1 deadline, and open enrollment will continue until the February 15 deadline.

Meanwhile depending on your state of enrollment, there will be soft and hard deadlines. But not to worry. You can always trust the government – sort of.

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