Published on December 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM
McClatchy: Administration Relaxes Some Health Care Rules, Asks Insurers To Be Flexible
In yet another acknowledgment of the difficulties Americans have faced purchasing coverage through the HealthCare.gov website, the Obama administration on Thursday announced that it would grant a one-month extension for a transitional federal program that provides health coverage to people with serious illnesses. In addition, the administration has put forward a handful of new requirements and recommendations for marketplace insurers to make it easier for people to get coverage that begins on Jan. 1. As the administration tries to overcome the disastrous rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, the new proposals and requirements could add further confusion to an already complex potpourri of deadlines, mandates and recommendations surrounding the controversial health care law (Pugh, 12/12).
USA Today: Insurance Files From Feds Not Quite There Yet
The mixed news comes as insurers, regulators and consumers rush to meet a Dec. 23 deadline for people to sign up for insurance on the federal healthcare.gov site if they want policies that take effect Jan. 1. The Department of Health and Human Services said today that it is encouraging insurers to allow consumers to pay premiums late, to cover prescriptions filled after plans expire and to let people with urgent health needs use doctors who may not be on their new health plan during the transition to new plans. Aetna said it would give people until Jan. 8 to send premiums (O'Donnell, 12/12).
NPR: A Rush To Reconcile Health Enrollment Data, By Hand
With just a few weeks left before a deadline to get health coverage, lingering bugs lurk in the part of healthcare.gov that you can't see. And since time is running out to get things right, health officials on Thursday urged insurance companies to cover some enrollees even if their premium checks haven't come in. Under the law's guidelines, consumers have to sign up for a health insurance exchange -- and pay their first month's premium -- by the end of December if they want coverage in January (Hu, 12/12).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.