September 16, 2014 – September 22, 2014

New Medicaid Numbers Show Enrollment Increased by 7.9 Million Since October 2013: On September 22, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the July enrollment report for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Since October 2013, enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP has grown by 7.9 million people, which represents a 14 percent increase. In states that expanded Medicaid, enrollment increased by 20 percent; non-expansion states saw an increase of 5 percent.

7.3 Million Enrolled in Marketplace Coverage Through August: On September 18, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced that as of August 15, 7.3 million Americans were enrolled in marketplace coverage. The updated total is a point-in-time count that includes consumers who had enrolled through Special Enrollment Periods since the first open enrollment period (OE1) ended, in addition to enrollees who have paid for and retained their coverage since OE1.

Marketplace Enrollment by ZIP Code Released for Federal Marketplaces: On September 18, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released data on the number of consumers who selected marketplace plans by ZIP code for states with federally facilitated and partnership marketplaces. The data covers enrollment between October 1, 2013, and April 19, 2014.

Updated Uninsured Estimates:

  • On September 16, the Census Bureau released figures on the national uninsured rate for 2013. The survey found the uninsured rate was 13.4 percent, which is a slight decrease from 2012 (-0.2 percent). Notably, the Census data covers 2013 and does not reflect 2014 coverage gains through the marketplaces or Medicaid.
  • In tandem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on uninsured rates for the first three months of 2014. The CDC survey found that the uninsured rate decreased 1.3 percent compared with 2013 rates and was at its lowest since the CDC started collecting this data in 1997. This CDC data does not reflect the enrollment surge at the end of OE1.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Releases Draft Tax Form Instructions: This past week, the IRS released draft tax instructions for Form 8965 (for individuals seeking an exemption from the health coverage requirement) and Form 8962 (for individuals receiving premium tax credits). In the latter form, an individual will be required to reconcile their projected 2014 household income, which was used to determine the amount of their premium tax credit, with their actual 2014 household income. If the consumer’s actual household income is less than projected, they may get a refund. If the consumer’s actual household income is more than projected, they may need to pay money back to the federal government. The IRS will finalize these instructions later this year after reviewing comments from the public.

State-Based Marketplaces Prepare for OE2:

  • California: At a September 18 board meeting, Covered California announced $14.7 million in Navigator grants and $3 million in continuing outreach and education grant funding to support 227 organizations during OE2. The board also shared details on its outreach and enrollment plan for OE2, including how it would apply lessons learned from OE1 to support high consumer demand for information, provide effective training for those helping consumers enroll, and strengthen coordination and partnerships.
  • Maryland: Maryland Health Connection announced on September 16 that it will stagger the launch of the state’s new online enrollment portal for OE2. Consumers will be able to browse plans online starting November 9. Enrollment will launch November 15-18 for different types of in-person application assistance, and self-service online enrollment will begin November 19.
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