Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And another thing...

In yesterday's Linkfest, I included a link to United Healthcare's informative booklet on Special Open Enrollments. Turns out, though, that it's a lot easier to game the system than UHC or I had thought. The folks at CMS have thoughtfully (and, of course, illegally) opened up another Open Enrollment Period. From the horse's, erm, mouth:

"The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or “shared responsibility payment” when they file their 2014 taxes in states which use the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM)"

That's right, flout the law one year, get rewarded the next. Sweet.

Bonus question: What with Halbig/King/Burwell hinging on "Five Little Words," isn't this tacit acknowledgement by CMS that plaintiffs are correct? After all, if there's really no difference between Federal and state-run Exchanges (as argued by the Obamastration), then why does this new extension make the distinction? Doesn't this unfairly punish folks in states that run their own Exchanges?
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