Federal Grants Awarded to Organizations Connecting Communities of Color to Coverage: On September 11, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $3.2 million in grant awards to 13 organizations in 11 states (AL, AR, CA, FL, IL, MA, MS, NH, PA, WA, and TX) and the District of Columbia working to increase marketplace, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment among racial and ethnic minorities and in underserved communities. Grantees will use the funding to develop culturally competent and linguistically appropriate outreach and enrollment services for the populations they serve.
Updates on Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) Data Matching Issues: The vast majority of data matching issues related to marketplace enrollees’ citizenship or immigration status have been resolved or are being processed. Enrollees who did not submit the requested verification documentation will lose marketplace coverage September 30. Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is requesting additional documentation from another group of enrollees, those with data matching issues related to income, by September 30. If these consumers do not submit supporting information by the end of the month, their premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions may be reduced or ended, but they will not lose coverage.
Federal Training Materials for Assisters Now Available: CMS made training materials publicly available for in-person assisters (including Navigators and Certified Application Counselors [CACs]) in federally facilitated and partnership marketplaces. Assisters can take the training through the CMS’ Training Site for Health Insurance Marketplace In-Person Consumer Assisters. Navigators should not complete the training until they have received their new Navigator identification number, and current CACs should confirm with their certifying organization whether they will get new identification numbers.
More Final 2015 Health Insurance Rates Approved:
- District of Columbia: On September 15, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking announced it had approved premium rates for 2015 plans on the health insurance marketplace. Changes in premiums from 2014 to 2015 range from an 11 percent decrease to a 12 percent increase. Insurers had initially requested changes ranging from 6 percent decrease to a 24 percent increase.
- New Mexico: On September 3, the New Mexico Superintendent of Health Insurance announced that 2015 marketplace premiums will decrease by 1-2 percent on average compared with 2014 premiums. Three of the four insurers selling marketplace plans in 2014 will have lower average rates in 2015, and a fifth insurer is joining the marketplace.
- Vermont: On September 2, the Green Mountain Care Board, the independent group that reviews health insurance rates in Vermont, announced final 2015 rates for the state’s marketplace. Premiums for the two insurers selling plans on the marketplace will increase by an average of 8 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Insurers had initially requested changes of 10 and 15 percent.