Puerto Rico

Outline of Puerto Rico

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today additional resources and flexibilities available in response to Hurricane Fiona in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  CMS is working closely with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to put these flexibilities in place to ensure those affected by this natural disaster have access to the care they need – when they need it most.

On September 18, 2022, President Biden determined that an Emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico due to the emergency conditions resulting from the then Tropical Storm Fiona beginning on September 17, 2022, and continuing.  Additionally, on September 20, 2022, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra determined that a Public Health Emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and has existed since September 17, 2022.

CMS stands ready to assist with resources and waivers to ensure hospitals and other facilities can continue to operate and provide access to care to those impacted by the consequences of the hurricane.

Louisiana's 2020 Presidential primary was scheduled for April 4th, but the other day Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin agreed to reschedule it for June 20th...which is actually later than the last previously-scheduled primary in the U.S. Virgin Islands on June 6th:

The presidential primary elections in Louisiana slated for April will be delayed by two months, the latest in a series of dramatic steps government leaders have taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Republican, and Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, both said Friday they would use a provision of state law that allows them to move any election in an emergency situation to delay the primary.

The presidential primary elections, initially scheduled for April 4th, will now be held June 20th. Ardoin said in a press conference he does not know of any other states that have moved elections because of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Well THIS falls under the Good News department:

CMS Announces Additional Special Enrollment Periods to help Individuals Impacted by Hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Agency provides extended special enrollment periods for 2018 Medicare and Exchange coverage

En español

Now that it appears that the full list of states and counties eligible for hurricane (or windstorm, in the case of Maine) Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) has settled down, Huffington Post reporter Jonathan Cohn asked an interesting question:

How if at all do you allow for the extensions in FL, TX, etc.? Or, to put another way, how many post-Dec 15 signups through https://t.co/bhGNSognZK do you expect?

— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) December 20, 2017

The closest parallel to this particular situation I can think of was the #ACATaxTime SEP back in spring 2015. In that case, it was the first year that the ACA's (defunct as of this morning) Individual Mandate was being enforced, and a lot of people either never got the message about being required to #GetCovered or at least pretended that they didn't.

As I noted way back in October (seriously, I made a note of it at the bottom of the spreadsheet the very first week), the ACA situation in Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands is, to put it mildly, kind of screwed up. Due to some massive oversights, they were stuck with some of the ACA's provisions (no denials for pre-existing conditions, having to accept everyone, etc.), but didn't get the other key provisions (no exchanges, no subsidies). As a result, it's been a bit of a mess.

Thankfully, the problem has been "solved", although not quite the way the Obama administration intended:

Guam and the four other American territories got some good news this week: they will no longer be held hostage by a byzantine set of Obamacare rules and regulations.

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