Congress is in session this week. The FEHBlog was cheered to find that the Hill is again printing its summary of events that will be occuring on Capitol Hill this week, such as the President's final State of the Union address.
For decades, the FEHBP had Open Seasons with no pre-existing conditions. There were limited opportunities during the calendar year to enroll. There was no penalty for waiving coverage. The system has worked smoothly. The ACA adopted the same approach. Nevertheless, the FEHBlog expected that there would be implementation bumps in the road because it was a much larger diverse population with a penalty for not signing up. And there were. But one expected bump that didn't show up was outrage by people with health problems who needed to enroll outside of the ACA Open Season but couldn't. Robert Pear of the New York Times reported yesterday that
Eager to maximize coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has allowed large numbers of people to sign up for insurance after the deadlines in the last two years, destabilizing insurance markets and driving up premiums, health insurance companies say. * * *
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, representing state officials, is troubled by the trend.
“State regulators are concerned that consumers are not required to provide documentation to substantiate their eligibility for a special enrollment period,” the association said in a letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. “We know of many cases where individuals with serious medical conditions purchased coverage midyear by simply checking the right box or using the right language, and their eligibility was not questioned.”There you go.