Amid reduced enrollment expectations for 2015, the second year of ACA insurance enrollment began on Saturday. While state and federal exchanges experienced some glitches, the process overall reportedly went much more smoothly than last year’s launch. Congress, back for a lame-duck session, will focus on the enrollment process at a Wednesday House hearing where the White House’s former Chief Technology Officer Todd Park will testify. Republicans also are expected to reiterate their intent to attack the law next year, citing recent comments from a key Obama administration consultant who said that the law passed in part because of voter ignorance.
As the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prepares to implement online enrollment for the law’s small business “SHOP” exchanges, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report notes that enrollment to date lags far behind projections. GAO found that 76,000 individuals were enrolled in SHOP exchange plans in the 18 states running their own exchanges. CMS has not published enrollment numbers for the federally-facilitated exchange states yet but told GAO that enrollment has been similarly low, so SHOP enrollment is likely to fall well short of CBO estimates that 2 million employees would enroll in 2014.
HHS has extended the transitional reinsurance fee deadline for submitting 2014 enrollment counts and scheduling payments to Friday, Dec. 5. Originally slated for Nov. 17, the delayed deadline gives contributing entities, including employers with self-insured health plans, almost three extra weeks to complete the online submission form. The 2015 payment deadlines of Jan. 15 and Nov. 15 deadlines remain the same