The devil is in the Details!
“The Congressional Budget Office says there will be 2 million fewer jobs due to PPACA.” That is not necessarily what was said, the equivalent of 2 million would not be working because they chose not to without the fear of losing their benefits. They now can get the benefits through the exchange.
The CBO also predicted that exchange enrollments would be only 6 million verses the original projection of 7 million enrollee’s this year. According to some, it is a surprise that this number did not drop more considering all the challenges of the enrollment process.
What is full time employment?
Several NAHU coalition partners testified last week that making 30 hours the threshold for benefits or face penalties would hurt businesses across the country.
As a result it was announced by the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), announced the committee would be making up H.R. 2575 by representative Todd Young ( R-IN), that would raise the weekly hours worked total to 40 hours. According to leadership the bill will be brought to the floor for a vote later in the year. Note there is also a bill in the Senate mirroring the legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Donnelley (D-IN).
A group of Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew regarding employer responsibility and information reporting requirements requesting a delay in the reporting requirements for small businesses while finding a balance between “sufficient reporting and privacy protection, while limiting the burden on business.
Risky BusinessSenator Rubio has introduced legislation repealing the law’s risk corridor program (S. 1726) with companion house legislation (H.R. 3541). There is also legislation to repeal both the risk corridor provision and the transitional reinsurance program (H.R. 3812)These provisions are included in other federal insurance programs and were modeled after the GOP written provisions of the Medicare Modernization Act. These provisions are similar to those found in the federal flood and terrorism insurance programs. The CBO also confirmed and projected that the risk corridor would actually produce $8 billion in revenue for the government.
Not a very appealing Problem
It’s no secret to NAHU members that some people who have attempted to purchase coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace have encountered some crazy problems concerning health insurance subsidy and Medicaid eligibility determinations and the coverage appeals process. We’ve repeatedly pressed the Administration for answers and a special hotline for agents to report these issues, talked to the media quite a few times about the problems and we’ve read some hilarious blog entries about them too.
Now the enrollment and appeals concerns we’ve been pointing out for months are getting a little more public attention. And the problems may run deeper than we realized. This week the Washington Post reported the federal health insurance marketplace’s coverage appeals process doesn’t really exist yet.
Citing multiple confidential sources within CMS, the Washington Post reported that at least 22,000 people have filed paper health insurance coverage appeals since October 1. Currently those appeals, which were supposed to be resolved within 12 weeks, have been scanned into a government computer and have otherwise not been touched since the computer system to help process them has yet to be built.
- House and Senate Republicans sending lettersto Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner demanding answers as to why the process to appeal an error on healthcare.gov is incomplete. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the problems too and tried to downplay it by saying “…it’s only around 22,000 (who have) asked for help by filing an appeal, and we are going to get them help. So we are talking here about a very small percentage of the number of people who have applied for coverage.” We at NAHU know that a large number of those 22,000 people are your clients, so we’ll keep seeking answers and help for them.
Register for NAHU’s Next Compliance Corner Webinar Today
- NAHU’s next free members-only compliance corner webinar titled “The Marketplace: Is It Working As Expected?” will be held on Thursday, February 13 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Agents and brokers are facing quite a few issues in assisting clients with enrolingl on the marketplaces. Since it is the professional role of our members to provide consumers with accurate information about their health coverage options, exchange participation is a natural fit. During the one-hour webinar we will discuss the realities and issues of marketplace enrollment, items that you need to be aware of and the current mind set.
Click hereto register today.
The session is limited to 1,000 participants; if you can’t make it or it fills up, the session will be recorded and the slides and webinar recording will be posted online.