On top of everything else, state #ACA exchanges have to explain that the law is still in effect

If you visit several of the state-based ACA exchange websites right now, you might notice a pattern:

Connect for Health Colorado (blog entry):

Staying Focused

It’s still 2020, so it only seems appropriate that we all have a lot on our plates. Despite the Texas v. California court case causing some news as it went before the Supreme Court this week, we continue to stay focused on our current Open Enrollment Period.

It is of note this year that individuals making up to $51,040 per year or a household of four making up to $104,800 annually may be eligible for financial help to lower their monthly premiums, healthcare discounts, or both. Nearly three quarters of all Connect for Health Colorado enrollments are financially assisted.

And, since plans and prices change every year, you can point people to our Quick Cost and Plan Finder Tool to see their options.

We’re getting creative in our outreach methods this year, sponsoring more virtual events to get the word out about Open Enrollment. We sponsored the Colorado Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit this week, and this weekend, we are presenting at the Lucero Small Business Services virtual event for Latinx small business owners.

We are also working daily to strengthen the user experience and appreciate all of the hard work so many of you are putting in.

DC Health Link (pop-up message on home page):

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Anyone who wants quality health insurance can get it now. DC Health Link is locally established and locally operated. District policymakers also enacted the ACA core health insurance consumer protections into law in DC. Our local insurance standards protect people with preexisting conditions. The ACA case before the Supreme Court will be decided in late spring or early summer. DC Attorney General working with many Attorneys General around the country is defending the ACA. We will continue to advocate for our customers and will work with policymakers to find additional ways to protect District residents and employers.

MNsure (press release):

Supreme Court Hearing Should Not Keep Minnesotans from Enrolling in 2021 Health Coverage

ST. PAUL, Minn.—MNsure is encouraging Minnesotans to sign up for comprehensive health coverage through MNsure.org despite the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act that was argued before the Supreme Court today. While the court heard oral arguments today, a decision is not expected until sometime in 2021. The Affordable Care Act continues to be the law of the land.

MNsure’s open enrollment runs through December 22, 2020. Minnesotans who sign up by the deadline will have coverage beginning on January 1, 2021. MNsure is the only place Minnesotans can access federal tax credits that help lower the cost of health insurance.

"At a time when our nation is facing record numbers of COVID-19 cases, we are facing an attack on the health care coverage that Minnesotans have depended on for years,” said Governor Tim Walz. "Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, our administration will do everything possible to protect Minnesotans’ access to affordable and comprehensive health care. I encourage all Minnesotans in need of health care coverage to visit MNsure.org and sign up for 2021 coverage before the December 22 deadline."

"I urge all Minnesotans to make sure they sign up for comprehensive health care coverage this year,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “There are many affordable options available to Minnesotans through MNsure, and now more than ever, Minnesotans deserve the peace of mind and support that access to health care provides."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us it’s never been more important for Minnesotans to have the security of comprehensive health insurance,” said Nate Clark, MNsure CEO. “MNsure is open for business and here to help Minnesotans access health coverage at this crucial time. Open enrollment runs through December 22."

In addition to comprehensive private health insurance plans and access to federal tax credits that lower the cost of monthly premiums, MNsure.org is also where Minnesotans can access low- or no-cost health plans through MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance. Minnesotans who qualify for these programs can enroll at any time during the year.

“It may be hard for people to pay for health care along with all of the other bills right now,” said Jodi Harpstead, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. “That is why we encourage anyone who needs health care coverage to apply any time—not just during open enrollment—to see whether they qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, including Minnesotans who have had work hours reduced, been furloughed or who have lost their jobs.”

Nevada Health Link (press release):

Supreme Court hearing re: Affordable Care Act – November 10, 2020

We’ve celebrated a number of successes and milestones at Nevada Health Link, but it’s not been without its fair share of challenges. On November 10, 2020, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the law that the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange was built upon, will once again find itself under scrutiny when the Supreme Court holds a hearing to discuss the future of the ACA.

Applying for health insurance can be complicated, and now the current national news surrounding the ACA will further fuel consumer confusion, making it harder for people to differentiate fact from fiction. As executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, I want to address this upcoming hearing and provide clarity in a time when we need it most.

  • While the Supreme Court will review the ACA case on Nov. 10, the Court is not expected to make a decision until next summer. And if the Court rules against the ACA, there will likely be years of litigation to follow. As a result, nothing is expected to change in the immediate future.
  • The Nov. 10 Supreme Court hearing does not change anything for 2021. Nevada Health Link will continue to offer qualified health plans during Open Enrollment for 2021 coverage. Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
  • Nevada Health Link plans are suitable for those who do not have employer-sponsored coverage and do not qualify for Medicare (65 and over) or Medicaid. This represents a large segment of the population both in Nevada and nationally. The ACA helps to ensure millions of Americans and thousands of Nevadans have health insurance.
  • But if the ACA is overturned, it will eventually affect ALL of us, especially as our world grapples with a pandemic and public health crisis. The estimated increase in our nation’s uninsured rate is a staggering 65 percent. The ripple effect will be incalculable.
  • It’s important to know that many plans being sold off of the Exchange today do not cover the ten essential benefits, but all plans sold on Nevada Health Link are compliant with the ACA and cover all the essential benefits. These benefits include coverage for pre-existing conditions, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health care, preventative care such as vaccinations, and they allow for children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26.
  • If the ACA is repealed (source):
    • Approximately 133 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions could lose their health insurance or would be required to pay significantly more for coverage, according to a government analysis done in 2017
    • An estimated 54 million people have conditions serious enough that insurers would outright deny them coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation
    • Of the 23 million people who either buy health insurance through the marketplaces set up by law, such as Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, about 21 million are at serious risk of losing coverage, including 9 million who receive federal subsidies to cover the cost of health insurance
    • Enrollment in Medicaid would drop by more than 15 million, including roughly 3 million children, according to the Urban Institute
    • More than 2 million young adults currently on their parents’ plans would lose coverage, according to a 2016 government estimate
    • Nearly 12 million low-income adults could lose Medicaid coverage
    • Doctors and hospitals could lose a crucial source of revenue, reducing quality and access to care
    • The cost of care for people who cannot pay for it would increase as much as $50.2 billion, according the Urban Institute
    • Caps on expensive treatments for conditions like cancer could disappear, putting millions at risk of financial disaster
    • Protection for breastfeeding parents, including workplace standards and access to breast pumps with no out-of-pocket costs, would go away
    • Nutrition labeling and calorie counts on menu items at restaurant chains would go away
  • Because of the ACA, 9 million Americans who buy health insurance can get financial assistance in the form of Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs, otherwise known as subsidies) to lower monthly premium costs. On average, four out of five consumers who purchase a plan on Nevada Health Link also qualify for subsidies. Without the ACA, this financial assistance also goes away.

As medical professionals continue to develop a vaccine to combat COVID-19, I want to emphasize now, more than ever, how invaluable it is to have insurance. While federal officials continue discussions on how to dismantle the ACA, we at Nevada Health Link remain focused on our core mission – connecting Nevadans to quality, comprehensive health insurance.

If you are uninsured or underinsured, I urge you to contact one of our certified brokers or agents and enroll in a plan that fits your needs and budget. Once again, Open Enrollment is happening now through January 15, 2021. Visit NevadaHealthLink.com or call 1-800-547-2927 to learn more.