October 7, 2014 – October 13, 2014

Uninsured Rate Remains Constant Since the End of the First Open Enrollment Period: According to a Gallup poll released October 8, the national uninsured rate stayed at 13.4 percent during the July-September reporting period. This rate, the same as the previous April-June period, is the lowest level this survey has measured since 2008, when the poll began, and a sharp decrease from the 17.1 percent uninsured rate in late 2013.

New Guidance on Exemptions and Catastrophic Coverage Renewal:

  • On September 18, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance on two hardship exemptions. The first piece of guidance clarifies that consumers with income under the tax-filing threshold are exempt from the fine regardless of whether they file taxes or have a dependent. The second piece of guidance indicates that individuals who are eligible for the Indian Health Services or services through another Indian health care provider can obtain an exemption either by applying through the marketplaces or through the tax-filing process.
  • On October 6, CMS issued guidance outlining the renewal process for individuals currently enrolled in catastrophic coverage. Individuals who remain eligible for 2015 catastrophic coverage will be automatically renewed in catastrophic coverage for the 2015 plan year. Individuals who are not eligible for catastrophic coverage beginning in 2015 will be automatically renewed in a non-catastrophic plan.

Updates from State-Based Marketplaces:

  • Hawaii: On October 4, the state marketplace’s board of directors announced it had chosen Jeffrey Kissel, a private sector CEO, to be the next executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector. Kissel is replacing the interim executive director, who served since December 2013.
  • New York: On October 3, the state marketplace, New York State of Health (NYSOH), released ZIP code–level enrollment data. The data is from September 19 and includes enrollment in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and marketplace plans. In September, NYSOH also released county-level data on enrollment during the 2014 open enrollment period.
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