August 12, 2014 – August 18, 2014

New Guidance on Assister Recertification Released: On August 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance on training, certification, and recertification for in-person assisters in the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM) for the second open enrollment period (OE2). The training materials will not be available until early September. CMS also posted a sample form that individual Certified Application Counselors (CACs) can use to request recertification from CAC-designated organizations.

Update on Consumers’ Citizenship/Immigration Data Inconsistencies in the FFM: Last week, the FFM mailed notices to 310,000 current enrollees who need to take additional steps to verify citizenship or immigration status by September 5. CMS has resolved 450,000 similar data matching issues, with another 210,000 currently being processed. The number of affected consumers varies quite a bit state-by-state; some states have a few hundred consumers affected, whereas others have tens of thousands. Individuals who do not take action by September 5 will lose coverage at the end of September. On our blog this past week, we explained in English and Spanish how to help consumers affected by this data matching issue submit their documentation.

New Funding for Consumer Assistance Programs (CAP) Announced: On August 13, CMS announced it would be making $5 million in funding available to 2010 CAP grantees to continue their work providing application assistance and education to uninsured consumers. CMS also released an FAQ on the funding opportunity. Applications are due September 15 and grants will be awarded September 29.

Final 2015 Health Insurance Rates Approved in Connecticut: Connecticut finalized its 2015 health insurance rates on August 15. Its largest health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, will decrease its rates by an average of 0.1 percent next year after its initial request for an average increase of 12.5 percent was rejected by the Connecticut Insurance Department. In addition, HealthyCT will decrease its rates by 8.5 percent and ConnectiCare will increase its rates by an average of 3.1 percent.

Colorado Marketplace Release 2015 Renewal and Redetermination Policy: At the August 11 marketplace board meeting, Colorado officials shared the marketplace’s renewal policy for 2015. Most enrollees will automatically undergo redeterminations, including updated tax credit determinations based on 2015 plan data, and will be auto-renewed if their current plan is available in 2015 and they do not make changes before December 15. Consumers with certain circumstances will not be eligible for auto-renewal and will receive special notices.

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