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Life Health > Health Insurance > Your Practice

PPACA exchange program adds auto-enrollment feature

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The majority of those who enrolled in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) plans through the exchanges will be auto-enrolled in the same “qualified health plans” (QHPs) they selected in 2014 in 2015, administration officials said today.

QHP enrollees who qualified for subsidies and re-enroll will get the same subsidies, officials say.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) included the auto-enrollment feature in a new proposed rule. The rule is set to appear in the Federal Register Tuesday.

“We are working to streamline the process for consumers wishing to remain in their current plan,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement. 

The new option may ease some of the technical difficulties that plagued HealthCare.gov during the first year of enrollment. 

Some say PPACA enrollment could grow significantly in the next open enrollment period. Healthcare.com,  a technology firm, estimates that 12 million to 16 million people will enroll in PPPACA exchange QHPs in 2015, up from 8 million who enrolled in exchange QHPs in 2014.

HHS noted that about 88 percent of employees receiving coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program don’t wish to change plans and are instead auto-enrolled in their current plan with updated premiums and benefits.

Consumers who are automatically re-enrolled in PPACA plans can hange plans during open enrollment, which is scheduled to run from Nov. 15 through Feb. 15, according to the rule. Enrollees also can return to the system to report life changes.

People who are no longer eligible for tax credits will be auto-enrolled into the same QHPs, but without the tax credits, HHS said. State-based exchanges can take the same approach or propose an alternative.

The exchanges run by HHS will send consumers notices on how to update tax credit information, HHS said.

Health insurers are responsible for telling consumers about the new premium levels and how much tax credits could reduce their bills, officials said.


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