Federal Navigator Grants Will Be Awarded on a Three-Year Basis: Starting with the upcoming open enrollment period (OE3), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will award Navigator grants for three years at a time in states with federally facilitated and partnership marketplaces, a change from OE1 and OE2’s one-year grants. Navigator grant recipients will have year-long budget periods and will submit regular progress reports to CMS. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), which will include information about the amount of funding available by state, is expected early-to-mid summer. Last year, CMS announced the Navigator FOA on June 10 and the awards on September 8 for an OE2 start-date of November 15. This year, OE3 begins on November 1.
Connecting Consumers to Health Coverage During Tax Season:
- Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Available Through April 30: Uninsured individuals who are facing the fine for not having health insurance in 2014 in states using HealthCare.gov and many state-based marketplaces (SBMs) can still qualify for an SEP to get 2015 coverage. As of March 29, around 36,000 consumers had signed up through this SEP.
- Update on Incorrect 1095-A Tax Forms: On April 3,the Department of the Treasury announced that marketplace enrollees who received incorrect tax forms would not be penalized if they miss the April 15 tax filing deadline.
Federal Guidance on Retroactive Coverage Dates: On March 31, CMS issued guidance announcing that as of April 1, federally facilitated and partnership marketplaces would no longer offer coverage-effective dates retroactive to 2014, unless a consumer had won an eligibility appeal.
- On April 1, the Connect for Health Colorado board of directors nominated a new marketplace CEO, Robert Malone. After a 14-day public-comment period, a state legislative committee will need to approve Malone’s appointment.
- The governor signed a bill into law that will launch an audit of the marketplace’s technical systems and management practices.