New Study: Nearly 17 Million Uninsured Americans Gained Health Coverage Since October 2013: On May 6, the RAND Corporation released a study finding that 16.9 million uninsured Americans gained health insurance in between the start of the first open enrollment period (OE1) in October 2013 and the end of OE2 in February 2015. In addition, the study found that 80 percent of nonelderly adults with health insurance in October 2013 experienced no changes in coverage.
Federally Facilitated Marketplace Improving Consumer Plan Shopping Experience: For OE3, the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM) is working to improve consumers’ experience and ability to compare their plan options, including adding searchable provider directories and an out-of-pocket cost calculator to HealthCare.gov. To make these improvements, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is requiring insurers to share provider networks (updated each month) and prescription drug formulary information in a format that web developers can use to create search tools for 2016 plans. These new requirements are outlined in a Paperwork Reduction Act notice (PRA) issued in March. HHS is accepting comments on the PRA notice from interested stakeholders until the end of this month.
State-Based Marketplace Updates:
- Connecticut: On May 5, Access Health Connecticut announced that over 1,400 consumers had enrolled in the Special Enrollment Period for people facing the fine for not having health insurance.
- Hawaii: At a May 8 meeting, the Hawaii Health Connector board of directors discussed a contingency plan — in case the marketplace cannot address a funding shortfall — to suspend operations, transfer technological functions to the state, and have consumers renew coverage on HealthCare.gov.
- Massachusetts: The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston has subpoenaed records from the Massachusetts Health Connector over the development of the Connector’s Affordable Care Act–compliant website, according to a news report.
- Minnesota: Effective May 22, Allison O’Toole will take over as interim CEO of MNsure from Scott Leitz, who is resigning.