KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Administration Moves Health Plan Sign-Ups To Mid-November In 2015

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that starting next year, it will push back the start of the sign-up period for those buying insurance until mid-November, rather than mid-October.  Republicans called the shift a blatantly political move. The White House also pushed back this year's deadline -- to Dec. 23 from Dec. 15 -- for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1.

NPR: White House Pushes Next Year's Health Plan Sign-Ups Later
Another day brings another delay for the federal health law known as the Affordable Care Act. On Friday, the Obama administration announced that, starting next year, it is pushing back the start of the sign-up period for those buying individual and small business insurance until mid-November, rather than mid-October. That will give insurance companies some extra time to set their premiums, given this year's difficulties (Rovner, 11/22).

CQ HealthBeat: HHS -- Not GOP -- Points To 2015 Exchange Rates As Reason For Deadline Shift
The Obama administration is signaling that it plans to move back the deadline for insurers to file 2015 rates on insurance exchanges by one month in hopes of keeping premiums down in the second year of the new marketplaces. But Republicans protested Friday that the shift, which also delays the start of next fall’s open enrollment period from Oct. 15 until Nov. 15, is a blatantly political move by the White House (Reichard, 11/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Law Sign-Up Period Extended For A Week
Officials cited difficulties with the federal HealthCare.gov website in pushing back the deadline to Dec. 23 from Dec. 15 for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1. That is the earliest day that coverage under President Barack Obama's health-care law can begin. The move highlights the time pressure to get the law's new health-insurance exchanges running (Radnofsky and Martin, 11/22). 

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Obamacare Deadline For Jan. 1 Coverage Extended One Week
Consumers will have an extra week — until Dec. 23 – to enroll in health insurance coverage that begins Jan. 1, Obama administration officials said Friday. … While the administration has said the site will work smoothly for most customers by Nov. 30, some advocates had been concerned that consumers still might not have enough time to sign up for coverage that would take effect Jan. 1. The previous deadline was Dec. 15 (Carey, 11/22).

Bloomberg: Obama Giving People More Time To Enroll In Health Plans
President Barack Obama is seeking to give consumers more time and options to enroll in Affordable Care Act health plans, delaying an application deadline and allowing insurers in three states to sign up customers directly. Consumers can now sign up for health coverage as late as Dec. 23, for policies that would begin Jan. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said yesterday (Wayne and Nussbaum, 11/23).

Fox News: Republicans Cry Foul Over ObamaCare 2015 Enrollment Period Pushback
Congressional Republicans accused the administration of shifting the dates for political reasons, to hide a spike in 2015 premiums, though information may already be available about 2015 premiums before the elections on Nov. 4. "That means that if premiums go through the roof in the first year of ObamaCare, no one will know about it until after the election," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement. "This is clearly a cynical political move by the Obama administration to use extra-regulatory, by any means necessary tools to keep this program afloat and hide key information from voters” (11/23).

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