via DC Health Link by email:

Healthcare Open Enrollment Going Strong in Washington, DC!

  • DC Residents Can Sign Up for Quality Affordable Coverage Through Jan 31, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – District of Columbia residents still have more than six (6) weeks to sign up for quality, affordable health insurance through DC Health Link, the District’s state-based health insurance exchange established under the Affordable Care Act. While the final deadline has passed for individuals across the country to sign up for health insurance through the federal marketplace (HealthCare.gov), DC Health Link’s Open Enrollment for individuals and families continues on until January 31, 2020.  

via MNsure by press release:

Monday is Your Last Chance to Enroll in Private Health Coverage Through MNsure

December 20, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 23, to enroll in health insurance coverage through MNsure for 2020.

"MNsure stands ready to help Minnesotans in the final days of open enrollment," said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. "The time to get enrolled is right now—don't lose out on your opportunity to get coverage in the new year."

MNsure will have extended Contact Center hours beginning tomorrow: 

  • Saturday, December 21: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Sunday, December 22: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • Monday, December 23: 8 a.m. to midnight

Most people qualify for financial help. Minnesotans can see their estimated eligibility for financial help by using MNsure's plan comparison tool.

Please note, this deadline does not apply to Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare recipients or members of federally recognized Indian tribes. More information about renewing eligibility and reporting changes for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. 

Just another quick update from AccessHealthCT:

As of today, their press release page states the following:

Stats as of December 20, 2019:

Qualified Health Plans (QHP):

  • Net Total QHP Enrollment: 104,439
  • 2020 OE Acquisition Summary: 21,001

Overall Volume

  • Unique Website Visitors: 185,869
  • Calls Handled: 183,637

Medicaid: Completed applications/redeterminations processed through the integrated eligibility system: 40,496

This was as of 12/20. They'll have to have added another 6,627 people to beat last year's total of 111,066.

As a reminder, Access Health CT has extended their Open Enrollment deadline by a full month, to January 15th:

Access Health CT Extends 2020 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

via Connect for Health Colorado:

More than 153,000 Coloradans Enrolled in Health Insurance So Far; Less than Four Weeks Remain to Enroll for 2020 Coverage

DENVER — More than 153,000 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace by Dec. 18, 2019. Approximately 68 percent of applicants qualify for financial help to lower monthly premium costs.

“I am encouraged by the pace of sign-ups so far,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson.  “However, it’s not too late to get covered for 2020. I urge you to take advantage of the final deadline and all the support we offer by visiting our site, giving us a call, or finding local help in your community.”

The Open Enrollment period in Colorado ends Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Residents who sign up for a health insurance plan by the deadline will receive a Feb. 1, 2020 coverage start date.

Back in July, just ahead of the 2nd Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate here in Detroit, I laid out what my question would be (If I could only ask one question) for the various candidates.

The wording of the first part varied somewhat depending on the candidate's position on healthcare policy, but the second part was identical for each. Here's how I worded it for Bernie Sanders:

"Senator, you've long been a staunch advocate of moving to a universal, mandatory, single-payer healthcare system which you call "Medicare for All", and have publicly rejected any proposal which includes cost sharing at the point of service or which continue to allow private major medical plans as not being acceptable.

However, until this year you were also a co-sponsor of Senator Warren's "Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act", or CHIPA, which amounts to a robust ACA 2.0 bill, and until recently you were also a co-sponsor of Senator Schatz's "State Public Option Act" which amounts to a Medicaid buy-in plan.

In March 2019, Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan and Clare Wang Pan of the Urban Institute ran a detailed analysis to determine what the impact on healthcare coverage would be in every state if the Texas vs. U.S. lawsuit (aka Texas vs. Azar or #TexasFoldEm) caused the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be repealed with immediate effect.

They also attempted to calculate how much federal funding every state would lose each year if the ACA were to be repealed as a result of the absurd Texas vs. U.S. (aka #TexasFoldEm) lawsuit.

Nationally, they concluded that the U.S uninsured rate would increase by nearly 20 million people, while the 50 states (+DC) would collectively lose out on nearly $135 billion in federal funding.

Here's my original post on yesterday's 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the absurd Texas vs. U.S. (aka Texas Fold'em) lawsuit.

The bottom line for What This Means is:

  • The ACA remains the law of the land and likely will remain that way for at least another year.
  • Having stated the above, the ACA is still indeed very much in jeopardy. Going forward, the case will follow one of two possible routes:
    • Officially, it's supposed to go back to the judge who ruled against the ACA in the first place a year ago to "reconsider" which parts of it can be "saved"...after which it would then go back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. That full process could take well over a year.​​​​​​​
    • However, it's possible that the Supreme Court will intervene and agree to take the case up instead of it going to the original judge first, which is what the defending states are now requesting. This full process...could still take up to a year, although it's conceivable that a final ruling would be issued before the election.

Well, as if Impeachment Day wasn't tense and historic enough already, the 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has finally issued their decision on the Texas vs. U.S. (aka Texas vs. Azar, aka Texas Fold'em) lawsuit intended to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act:

Before KING, ELROD, and ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judges. JENNIFER WALKER ELROD, Circuit Judge:

This just in from Covered California:

Covered California Releases New Enrollment Data and Issues Reports on Five Years of Improving Affordability, Access and Accountability

  • Covered California announced that there are more than 230,000 new plan selections during the current open enrollment period – up approximately 16 percent over this time last year. More than 1.15 million people have also renewed their coverage.
  • In addition, more than 540,000 people will receive new state subsidies that will make quality health care coverage more affordable in 2020.
  • The agency also released two extensive reports that detail Covered California’s impacts on lowering costs and assuring quality care in its implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Since 2013, California has reduced its uninsured rate by more than any other state in the nation has by expanding Medi-Cal, investing in marketing and outreach and keeping costs low for consumers.
  • California’s individual market consistently ranks among the healthiest in the nation, helping unsubsidized consumers save about $1,550 annually in 2018 on their premiums compared to consumers in the federal marketplace.
  • Covered California’s open-enrollment period runs through Jan. 31. Consumers must sign up before the end of Dec. 20 for their coverage to start on Jan. 1. California is one of 10 state marketplaces that are still open for business, representing 28 percent of Americans.

I actually already reported this yesterday, but it's good to have the formal press release as well, which includes additional details:

Nevadans Who Started Their Enrollment Applications on or Before the Dec. 15 Deadline Have Until Dec. 20 to Complete Applications for Coverage that Begins on Jan. 1 2020

Carson City, Nev. – The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals obtain budget-appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace, Nevada Health Link, has extended its Open Enrollment deadline to 11:59 p.m. PST Friday, Dec. 20 for consumers who started the application process on or before the Dec. 15 midnight Open Enrollment deadline.

"We recognize the enrollment process for health insurance can be time-consuming. That’s why we are giving consumers five extra days to complete their application to purchase plans for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2020," said Heather Korbulic, executive director, Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

via MNsure by press release:

Less Than a Week to Enroll; MNsure's Open Enrollment Period Ends December 23

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 23, to enroll in coverage through MNsure. After that date, Minnesotans will only be able to enroll in private health insurance coverage through MNsure if they qualify for a special enrollment period.

"Anyone with questions or who needs help enrolling should phone our Contact Center or reach out to a MNsure-certified assister,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “We’re here to help. Don't wait until the last minute—get covered today!”

MNsure will have extended Contact Center hours leading up to the deadline: 

via the Maryland Health Connection press release:

158,600 MARYLANDERS ENROLLED THROUGH MARYLAND HEALTH CONNECTION

  • 2020 enrollment total largest in four years

BALTIMORE (DEC. 17, 2019) – A total of 158,600 Marylanders enrolled in private health coverage for 2020 on Maryland Health Connection, the largest enrollment in four years on the state-based health insurance marketplace.

That was 1,637 more enrollees than a year ago when 156,963 enrolled. It was also the largest enrollment on the health insurance marketplace since 2016 when 162,652 enrolled. Enrollments for 2020 coverage grew in 20 of 24 jurisdictions.

The 45-day open enrollment period for the coming plan year began Nov. 1 and ended Sunday. A few hundred additional enrollments will be completed this week for consumers who had begun the process but hadn’t finished by Sunday night.

via Connect for Health Colorado:

Connect for Health Colorado Extends Enrollment Deadline for January Coverage to Dec. 18, 2019 

DENVER –  To help as many people as possible get Jan. 1, 2020 coverage, Connect for Health Colorado is pleased to announce that the deadline to get coverage on Jan. 1 has been extended. Coloradans have until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 18, 2019 to sign up for a health insurance plan that starts on Jan. 1, 2020.

To sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2020, Coloradans must take the following steps: 

1. Complete an application and select a health insurance plan online at ConnectforHealthCO.com, over the phone at 855-752-6749, or by working with a certified enrollment expert by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

OK, this isn't much of an extension, since the DCHealthLink.com exchange already lets people enroll as late as January 31st...but it's still important:

DC Health Link didn’t have any website issues on Sunday 12/15, but we know that news for other states may have caused confusion.

You now have until December 18 to sign up for a plan that starts January 1.

Visit DCHealthLink.com

#GetCoveredDC
#StayCoveredDC 

In response to tremendous pressure after yesterday's major technical issues at HealthCare.Gov, CMS Administrator Seema Verma just announced that the deadline for people to #GetCovered in the 38 states which host their ACA enrollment platform with HealthCare.Gov will indeed be extended by 2 days:

We at @CMSGov want to ensure a seamless shopping experience for everyone seeking coverage, so starting at 3 pm ET today, we are extending the marketplace #OpenEnrollment deadline until 3 am ET December 18! https://t.co/HmVdpJlX2C

— Administrator Seema Verma (@SeemaCMS) December 16, 2019

(I originally misread this as being a 3-day extension, but it's only 2 days, since it runs through midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday.)

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