July 29 – August 4, 2014

More States Release Final 2015 Health Insurance Premiums

  • CaliforniaCovered California announced 2015 premiums for its marketplace plans on July 31. Across the 10 issuers chosen to participate on the marketplace statewide, premiums will increase by an average of 4.2 percent.
  • Oregon: On August 1, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services released premium rates for the individual and small-employer markets in the state-based marketplace. In 2015, premiums will be lower on average than they were in 2014. The changes varied by insurer from a decrease of 20 percent to an increase of 11 percent.

Some States Still Processing Medicaid Application Backlogs

  • Missouri: The state is working through its remaining backlog of Medicaid applications, and has processed 76 percent of the 51,600 applications it received from HealthCare.gov since October of last year. However, there remains a sizeable backlog of 12,000 applications. The state Medicaid agency is testing new software this month that will resolve the underlying data transfer issues.
  • South Carolina: Because of technical problems and a sharp influx of Medicaid applications since the start of open enrollment, South Carolina processed only around one-quarter of Medicaid applications that it received from HealthCare.gov between October 1, 2013, and July 13, 2014. The state Medicaid director has pledged to complete the rest of the applications within 20 business days by improving processing procedures and adding workers.

Appellate Court Cases on Federally Facilitated Marketplaces Proceed: On July 22, two conflicting rulings were made by federal appellate courts on whether enrollees in states with federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs) are allowed to receive tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. These cases continued their advance through the judicial system this last week. On July 31, the losing plaintiffs in King v. Burwell petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on whether the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that individuals in FFM states can receive tax credits stands. A day later, on August 1, the Department of Justice requested that the full D.C Circuit Court of Appeals hear Halbig v. Burwell to review the ruling that individuals in FFMs cannot receive tax credits. The earliest the Supreme Court will likely decide whether to accept the King v. Burwell case is this fall.

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