WASHINGTON (AP) — Tthe Obama administration has announced a schedule change for the 2015 exchange open enrollment season.
Enrollment for 2015 coverage will start on Nov. 15, 2014, a month later than originally scheduled, and finish on Jan. 15, 2015, about five weeks later than originally scheduled.
The midterm congressional elections are Nov. 4, and congressional Republicans accused the administration of shifting the dates for political reasons, to hide a spike in 2015 premiums.
This year, open enrollment started Oct. 1.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the date change a “cynical political move.”
“If premiums go through the roof in the first year of Obamacare, no one will know about it until after the election,” Grassley said.
If next year follows the same pattern as this year, there could be plenty of rate information available about 2015 premiums before the election.
This year 17 states and Washington, D.C., posted the data publicly ahead of the administration.
“We’ll definitely start seeing some premiums earlier from state insurance departments,” said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
The administration says the change will give insurers more time to prepare and submit premiums.
However, there is one possible way that Democrats could benefit politically. If lightning strikes twice and the website sputters again during the next open enrollment season, that second act would not take place until after the voting is done.
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