END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Cleaning Out the In Box 6: CoverOregon may be back in '16; 2015 NV rates lower than expected; even Scott Walker won't rule out setting up WI exchange

Whoops...found even more slightly-outdated ACA-related articles worth noting...

OREGON: Cover Oregon officials hope to repair broken state health insurance exchange for 2016

For those who assume Cover Oregon will go away when the federal government takes overthe state exchange's job of enrolling people in health coverage, think again.

Even as Oregon works on hooking up to the federal website by November, some Cover Oregon board members hope the engagement with Uncle Sam will be only a one-year affair.

I found one quote in particular to be a bit of an eyebrow-raiser:

But the idea is controversial on both sides of the political aisle in Salem.

"Hell, no," says Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas. He thinks Oregon should leave the job to the federal exchange and Cover Oregon as a stand-alone agency should go away. "Cover Oregon, the whole structure is bad from beginning to end. I don't trust the federal government. But I do trust the federal government more than I do the state of Oregon."

Huh. I guess you can scratch "states rights" and "local control" off the GOP playbook in Oregon...

NEVADA: Exchange insurers’ rates lower than predicted for ’15

Once again, the Invisible Hand of the Free Market® gives the finger to the "Obamacare = Socialism!!" crowd:

That wasn’t so bad.

When the state Insurance Division released the health-plan premiums that insurers have proposed for 2015, the numbers held a couple of surprises.

First, they showed a new carrier agreeing to sell coverage through Nevada Health Link — an addition that seemed unlikely in spring, when some of the state’s biggest insurers were threatening to withdraw from the exchange.

Second, while requested rate changes were all over the map, most proposals called for either falling or only slightly rising premiums in 2015. That’s something else few insurance observers predicted; the general consensus has been that the Affordable Care Act’s benefit mandates and bans on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions would send rates sky-high.

WISCONSIN: Walker: no immediate plans for state health care exchange

The fact that hard-right, anti-ACA Republican Wisconsin Gov. Walker won't commit to setting up their own exchange if the Halbig decision is upheld is hardly surprising. What is noteworthy is that he's also not committing to not setting up an exchange for Wisconsin, either:

Governor Scott Walker's office says it will not rush to create Wisconsin's own health care marketplace to preserve tax subsides that were placed in doubt yesterday. A federal appeals court in Washington said the federal subsidies in the Affordable Care Act apply only to 14 states which run their own exchanges -- and not Wisconsin and 35 other states which use the standard federal exchange. However, another appeals in court in Virginia upheld an I-R-S rule which grants subsidized care for people in all 50 states.

Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster would not say if Wisconsin would create its own exchange if it meant preserving subsidies for users.

Of course, Walker is up for re-election in a tight race against Democrat Mary Burke, so he's obviously trying to avoid pissing off the 120,000+ Wisconsin residents who are receiving federal subsidies via the ACA (total enrollment: 149K; paid: 134K; subsidies: 90% of those, or around 120K).

Even so, it's noteworthy that even one of the tea party darlings of the GOP has to hedge his bets on was supposedly a sure thing just a few months ago: Opposing "Obamacare" whole-heartedly.