Massachusetts: All-new exchange website prepped, staggered deadlines for renewals
OK, all of this is moot if the new software platform proves to be as much of a mess as last year's was, but assuming the new setup works properly, this sounds like a fairly smart way of cleaning up the mess:
Open enrollment begins November 15, but individuals’ deadlines to enroll may vary.
A total of 285,000 people who currently have temporary coverage will need to re-enroll, but a proposal is in the state’s hands to do that enrollment in three waves, with three different deadlines– Jan. 15th for wave one, Jan. 31st for wave two, and Feb. 15th for wave three.
For those of you currently enrolled in a non-subsidized Affordable Care Act Plan, your deadline to re-enroll is by the end of this year, December 31st. Missing that deadline will cause you to have a gap in your coverage.
Hmmm...that last paragraph is a bit of misleading. I mean yes, it's true that if you're currently enrolled and you don't renew by 12/31, you'll have a gap in your coverage...but that's already true for anyone in any state which isn't set up for automatic renewals (and considering that automatically renewing is a really bad idea even in states where it's an option, that's just as well).
In any event, assuming that all 285K of these "limboland" folks are indeed able to successfully move onto an actual, bona fide ACA QHP, that would be huge for several reasons: One, it would take the financial burden off the state of Massachusetts; two, it would avoid another embarrassing debacle for the state; three, it would instantly propel MA from one of the worst-performing states under the ACA to one of the best; fourth, it would also drop their uninsured rate, which was lowest in the nation before the exchanges launched, down to virtually zilch; and finally, the whole question of "can the ACA rack up an additional 5.5 million private enrollees in year two?" would have over 5% of its answer in one shot.
Let's just hope the damned website works this time around.