What if some consumers going through health policy cancellations have trouble navigating the new system well enough to have replacement coverage in place Jan. 1?
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, declined today to talk about measures CMS or its parent, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, might take if ongoing problems with the HealthCare.gov exchange enrollment systems continue to hamper consumers’ ability to buy subsidized coverage.
“They would have time before Jan. 1″ to enroll in coverage, Tavenner said at a hearing on the exchange program organized by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to make all individual major medical insurance sold either on or off the public exchanges, from now until March 31, on a guaranteed-issue basis. The only personal health status the insurers can use when setting individual coverage prices will be age.
To qualify for new PPACA tax credit subsidies, moderate-income consumers must buy coverage through the PPACA exchange system. To guarantee that coverage will be in place Jan. 1, consumers must sign up for coverage by Dec. 15.