Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Potpourri

■ Craig Gottwals has the scoop on the latest Golden State efforts to come into line with the new group waiting period requirements:

"A year and a half ago, California decided that the 90-day waiting period limit imposed by PPACA ... was too long and cut that period to 60 days via a series of confusing state laws."

After driving benefits folks nuts trying to comply with conflicting federal and state requirements, the state's finally shelved their own ill-advised rule. Click on through for why this is so critical.

Speaking of small groups, the news on the alleged SHOP (small group marketplace) isn't promising for the folks in DC:

"[Secretary Burntwell] is allowing insurance commissioners in states that are part of the federally facilitated marketplace to opt out of SHOP’s employee-choice provision for 2015 if they determine that it would produce adverse selection. So far, 18 states were given permission to do so."

That's about half of the states with Fed-run Exchanges. Something about preference cascades?

And it's not just small businesses looking for group cover; entrepreneurs have long had to procure coverage on their own, something that's becoming easier said than done. FoIB Holly R tips us to this story of one such fledgeling businessman who left his previous employer to strike out on his own:

"I quickly discovered I would need to qualify for a “special enrollment period” to purchase a new plan at this time. Otherwise, it appeared, I would need to wait for open-enrollment season in November ... Please Note: If you enroll in COBRA you are not eligible for special enrollment until the next open enrollment period or until your COBRA maximum period expires."


Do you ever get the impression that the site was designed and implemented in (and for) Bizzaro World? You may not be too far off:

"Investigators at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) created 12 fake health insurance test applicants and, for now, at least, have gotten qualified health plan (QHP) coverage for 11 through the [ website]."

And that's the (ostensible) good guys; wonder what the Chinese hackers are up to....

Remember Fuller Brush and Avon folks? Well, they're no longer pushing cleaning and beauty supplies:

"[Some Navigators] can sell exchange plans and services door-to-door ... "

The new regs apply primarily to those working for the Fed-run Exchanges, but could also impact state-run ones, as well.

Remember, though, these are folks with no background checks or accountability, and minimal insurance training. But sure, let 'em in the house, they're (mostly) harmless.

Finally, Thanks to Bob, we'll leave you with this eye-opening video of Aetna Chairman Mark Bertolini discussing the major changes to our health care system. Bottom line: our new ObamaTax-based system is unaffordable (but you knew that):

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